"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'."

Friday, 20 March 2015

Chow Chow/Chayote and Spinach in Homemade Marinara Sauce

Aah, this is a recipe that can be coupled either with an Italian counterpart such as Pasta or an Indian staple rice variation such as Pulav or just a steaming bowl of rice. I made this combination of veggies a couple of times now simply because the Vitamin C rich Chow Chow combined with the Iron rich spinach  helps to absorb the iron much better. This time I went slightly  Italian although I have never seen an Italian dish made with Chayote or Chow Chow as we call it in India.

My family and I somehow liked this combination. This simple to make dish can be herbed up to combine well with your favourite pasta or can be spiced up with your favourite Indian spices. Like I mentioned, this time I went the Italian 'Marinara' way. The next time I will share the Indian 'Masaledar' way :)

Hope you enjoy!

You need:

  • 3-4 medium size Chow Chow / Chayote, finely diced
  • 2 medium sized bunches of green spinach, finely diced
For the Marinara Sauce:

  • 5 medium fully ripened tomatoes, crushed (you can also use the canned variety)
  • 1/2 a pod of large cloved garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 large onion (white), chopped finely
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (or 2-3 tbsp of dried basil)
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup of drinking water

The Make:

For the Marinara Sauce:
1. In a large saucepan , add the oil and saute the onions and garlic and cook until lightly brown over medium heat. Shake the pan intermittently to allow even cooking and avoid burning. (The shaking/tossing action is preferred to sauteing with a spatula).
2. Add the crushed tomatoes with their juices, the water, salt and oregano and bring to a boil.
3. Then lower the heat and simmer to cook in the covered saucepan for about 20 minutes or until thickened.
4. Uncover and add the basil and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to rest. (You can even bottle the marinara sauce once cooled and refrigerate and use as required).

5. In a deep-bottomed non-stick pot, add the oil and saute the Chow Chow.
6. Next toss in spinach and saute well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
7. Next add in all the Marinara sauce and cover and combine for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with your favourite choice of pasta. Shave some Parmesan cheese or I even liked Gruyere cheese on top once served.

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