Yellow split chick peas/ chana dal/ Kadalai paruppu have a sweet nutty flavor and hold their shape well. I used chayote squash/ chow chow for this dal . Chayote squah/ chow chow enhances the flavor and texture of the dal. To make this, soak the chana dal for 2-3 hrs in cold water with salt before cooking. Then follows the pressure cooking method of dal, vegetable and spices. Substitute any squash like bottle gourd, snake gourd, ash gourd if chow chow are not available.
1/2 Cup of Yellow split chick peas/ chana dal/ Kadalai paruppu
1 Chayote squash / Chow Chow, Diced
2 Tsp of Oil
1/2 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
1/2 Tsp of Urad Dal
1 Red Chilly
Pinch of Asafoetida
1 Sprig of Curry Leaves
3 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
1 Tsp of Fresh Ginger, Minced
2 Green Chillies
1/2 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1 Tsp of Coriander Powder
1/4 Tsp of Garam Masala
Salt and water as needed
- Soak the Yellow split chick peas/ chana dal/ Kadalai paruppu for 2- 3 hrs in cold water along with salt. After that, wash it in cold tap water and keep this aside.
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker over the medium – high heat. When it is hot, add the red chilly(break it), mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida and fry until they pop and become fragrant, about 5 secs.
- Add garlic, ginger and green chilly, fry for few secs.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and garam masala and cook, fry it for a min.
- Add chana dal and chow chow / chayote squash, fry it for a min.
- Add 2.5 Cups of water, salt and mix well. Close the pressure cooker, cook it for 2 whistles and then simmer it for 10 mins. Turn off the flame.
- Transfer the dal to a serving dish and serve hot with white rice or variety rice or any roti.
- If you want coconut, add 2 tbsp of grated coconut to it.
- You may also add red chilly powder/ cayeene pepper instead of green chilly.
- Soaking is most important, so soak it for 2 hrs. If you forget to do that, soak it in hot water for 1 hr before cooking.
- Adding garam masala is optional.
Health Benefits of Chow chow / Chayote squash
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Dissolves kidney stones
- High in fiber.
- Low in calories
- Good source of vitamin B complex and folate.