If you're looking for a delicious way to enjoy chayote squash, you are in for a treat! This easy-to-make Indian-style pan-fried chayote squash is perfect for a quick weeknight meal or a casual gathering with friends.
The spices give the squash a warm and flavorful kick, and the pan-frying method helps to caramelize the natural sugars in the vegetable, giving this chow chow sabzi a sweet and savory taste.
Chayote squash, also known as vegetable pear or chow chow, has a mild, crisp texture and a subtle, slightly sweet flavor. It is very versatile and easy to cook; however, peeling and prepping this can be quite challenging. See the step-by-step instructions on the best way to peel and prep chayote squash.
Growing up, chayote squash was a staple vegetable in our South Indian kitchen. Its versatility in regional dishes is unmatched. I make chayote squash curry, add it to vegetable sambar, and also use it to make chutney. Recently, I introduced my family to this pan-fried chayote squash recipe, a slight departure from the regular. The dish was a hit, and we loved it.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Quick and easy: This chow chow sabzi recipe is quick and straightforward to prepare, making it one of the quickest ways to enjoy chayote squash.
- Versatile: This pan-roasted chayote squash can be served as a side with rice or Indian bread like roti or naan, making it versatile and suitable for various meal plans.
- Delicious: The combination of chayote squash and curry spices creates a flavorful dish that is sure to please.
Chayote squash: When selecting chayote squash, choose the ones with smooth, unblemished skin, firm to the touch, and a vibrant green color.
Spices: I am using curry powder, turmeric, and Kashmiri chili powder (or paprika).
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Wash the chayote squash and pat dry them. Cut the top and bottom part of it (image 1). Now, cut them along the ridges (image 2).
Step 2: Peel them using a vegetable peeler. Remove the seed and cut the inner white part (image 3). Next, cut them into small, even-sized cubes (image 4).
Step 3: Heat a
Step 4: Add the curry powder, ground turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, and salt. Give it a good mix (image 6).
Step 5: Add the chow chow. Mix well and cover. Let it cook on low heat for 12-15 minutes or until it is fully cooked (images 7 and 8).
Step 6: Once they are cooked, increase the heat to high. Let the excess moisture evaporate and the chayote char slightly. Turn off the heat and top with cilantro and lemon juice (image 9).
Select fresh chayote squash that is firm, unblemished, and has a vibrant color for the best taste and texture. I make sure to cut the chayote squash into uniform cubes to ensure even cooking.
Cut the chow chow along the ridges first, making the peeling easy. Also, removing the seed and the inner white membrane before chopping is important. I usually soak the peeled chayote in water for a few minutes, which removes the sticky coating and makes it easier to cut.
Do not overcook the chayote. It should be tender but not mushy. I prefer to keep it with some bite in the chayote sabji as overcooking can make it too soft and lose its pleasant texture.
What to serve with pan-fried chayote squash?
This Indian-style pan-fried chayote squash is a versatile side dish that pairs beautifully with a variety of Indian main courses. You can serve it with basmati rice, sona masoori rice, or roti along with yellow dal.
Chow chow sabzi can be enjoyed even on its own or served with other grains like sorghum. You can make it a part of an everyday vegetarian thali for a quick and wholesome meal. Add a side of fresh cucumber-tomato salad and plain yogurt to create a well-rounded and budget-friendly everyday meal that is easy to prepare and enjoy.
When selecting chayote squash, choose ones with smooth, unblemished skin, firm to the touch, and a vibrant green color. Chayote squash can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Choose squash that is about the size of a pear. Check for outer ridges and select chow chow that has minimal ridges. This will make it easier to peel.
To store pan-fried chayote squash, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. Reheat it in a skillet or microwave until warmed through before serving.
I highly recommend not freezing pan-roasted chayote squash as the texture may deteriorate upon thawing, causing it to become mushy. It's best to enjoy this dish fresh or refrigerate it for short-term storage.
More vegetable sides
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Pan-Fried Chayote Squash
- 2 chayote squash
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder (sub with paprika)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (Use store-bought or homemade curry powder.)
- ½-¾ teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- ½ lemon
- Wash and peel the chayote squash. Cut them into half and remove the seed. Chop the chayote into ½ inch pieces (see notes).
- Heat a frying pan and add olive oil. Once the oil heats, add onion and garlic.
- Saute it for 4-5 minutes until the onion begins to brown.
- Add the chayote squash, curry powder, ground turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, and salt. Mix well and cover. Let it cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chayote is fully cooked.
- Once they are cooked, increase the heat to high. Let the excess moisture evaporate and the chayote char slightly.
- Turn off the heat and top with cilantro and lemon juice. Serve hot.