"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Okra, Drumsticks and Chow Chow in tangy Tomato stew

Chayote or best know in India as Chow Chow is a rich in Vitamin C whether raw or cooked. It has several names (from all over the world) including but not limited to choko, pipinola, ishkus, guatila, sayote, etc.Okra or Lady's fingers adds nutrition in terms of Vitamin A, B-6, C, D, Iron, Magnesium and Calcium. Drumstick (Moringa Oleifera) is yet another vegetable which is a rich source of several vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. This combination of Iron with rich Vitamin C sources ensures higher chances of iron absorption.

Growing up drumsticks were my favourite vegetable be in the form of its pods or leaves. My mom had no issues in my having vegetables unlike some parents who have to fuss over their kids not having their greens. She did have to force my sister though who was a die hard non-vegetarian. Ok before she kicks me (virtually), I better not add to it. I used to refer to the drumstick as 'nyum nyum'. Now my darling little one too is a fan of this vegetable. She enjoys the leaves too. These days it is not sold in the market at metros however my folks give me a good supply when I visit Kerala. It is eaten treasured by us.

There was no shortage of supply of both the leaves and pods owing to the fact that we had a huge drumstick tree growing out in our garden (even though we lived in Dubai, UAE). It also was a source of supply for the neighbours, strangers and such. I remember my mom yelling at strangers picking from our tree who shamelessly went about their business of picking despite the yelling.

There is no source of this recipe, it was been tried due to nutritional factors, tested to improve repeatedly and enjoyed by us several times in our home.

You need:

  • 8-10 sticks of drumsticks, peeled and cut into pieces (1 stick makes about 3-4 pieces)
  • 3 medium sized chow chow, diced finely
  • 1/2 kg lady's fingers, chopped into bite sizes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2" ginger, crushed
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of tomato puree
  • 2 green chilies (slit lengthwise)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chili powder or Paprika powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Amchur (Dry Mango Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp tamarind water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Salt
  • 2 - 4 cups drinking water

The Make:
Serves 5 adults | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

1. In a wok, add the oil and splutter the cumin seeds and add diced onion for a minute or until translucent.
2. Next add the ginger, garlic, green chilis and saute for about a minute.
3. Add the lady's finger and saute well for about 5 minutes.
3. Toss in the tomatoes and blend in until softened.
4. Add the dry spices and saute for about a minute. Add in the tomato puree and salt.
5. Next add the chow chow and drumsticks and cover and cook for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
6. Add the tamarind water and drinking water as required for the gravy and cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes taking care not to over soften the veggies.
7. Toss well and serve with rice, rotis or your choice of flat bread.

Bon Appetit!

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