Chayote squash sambar step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipe
Sambar is a South-Indian style dal made with toor dal (pigeon pea), tamarind, and an aromatic spice blend known as sambar powder. Sambar pairs well not just with steamed rice, but also with idli and dosa. This makes sambar an integral part of south Indian meals, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. A traditional sambar has a good proportion of dal, is made mostly with a single variety of vegetables, and is definitely made with homemade sambar powder.
Chayote (or chow-chow or choko) is a summer squash that belongs to the gourd family. Technically, it is a fruit and is pear-shaped (it resembles an unripe pear) but it is definitely not eaten as a fruit. This less-known vegetable is quite common in South Indian cooking. It is called seemebadnekai in Kannada and is commonly used to make sambar (dal), palya (sabzi/curry), and chutney.
This healthy vegetable is a great source of fiber and is packed with folates and magnesium. It is also low in calories and carbs. This vegetable is pretty bland in taste and can easily adapt to the flavours of the dish.
I have earlier shared the recipe of a simple palya (stir-fry) made with chayote squash. Here is the recipe for making sambar (dal) with it. Sambar is a South-Indian style dal made with toor dal (pigeon pea), tamarind, and an aromatic spice blend known as sambar powder. This easy sambar pairs well with steamed rice and any side dish of your choice.
Click here to make authentic Karnataka-style sambar powder.
Click here for more Karnataka recipes.
Step by step instructions
1. Boil toor dal and garlic cloves in a pressure cooker
2. Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan or kadhai. Add onion and saute until it is translucent
3. Add tomatoes and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes are slightly mushy
4. Add chayote squash, tamarind extract, jaggery, sambar powder, salt
5. Add water and bring to boil. Simmer until the chayote squash is completely cooked
6. Add the toor dal and simmer for 5-10 minutes
7. Prepare tempering (seasoning) in a small pan
8. Pour this tempering onto the sambar
9. Garnish with coriander leaves
Chayote sambar made with homemade sambar powder
Chayote squash sambar
FOR THE SAMBAR:
- 1 tbsp ghee
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp urad dal (optional)
- 1 dry red chilli
- 5-6 curry leaves
- A generous pinch asafoetida (hing)
- Soak tamarind in ½ cup water for 15-20 minutes. Extract tamarind water and discard the pulp. Set aside
- Wash toor dal and boil it along with garlic in a pressure cooker until completely done. Lightly mash it and set aside
- Wash and peel chayote squash. Cut them into small cubes
- Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan or kadhai. Add onion and saute until it is translucent
- Add tomatoes and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes are slightly mushy
- Add chayote squash, tamarind extract, jaggery, sambar powder, salt, and 2 cup water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer until the chayote squash is completely cooked
- Add the toor dal and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add some water to adjust the consistency if required
- In a small pan, heat ghee and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add cumin seeds, urad dal, dry red chilli, hing, and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds
- Pour this tempering onto the sambar
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot