Spicy vegetables(Chow chow)

This is a recipe from my friend Aruna. She asked me for this recipe about 1 year ago, but I had no luck finding it. At my native, chow chow means a kind of spicy crunchy mixture. So I was a bit surprised when she said it is made of vegetables. I think in Tamil, chow-chow means chayote squash. Do not confuse this dish with any of these.

Aruna finally got it from her MIL and passed on to me. She said it is a specialty from Honnavar. The dish is basically a beans-carrot-potatoes cooked with a spicy, tangy mixture which is similar to pickle masala. It tastes great as a side dish with rice and simple dal.

1/2 cup carrots chopped into strips
1/2 cup green beans chopped into strips
1/2 cup potatoes chopped into strips
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds
3-4 red chilies
A pinch asafoetida
1/4 tea spn turmeric
1/8 tea spn pepper
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract or 2 pieces of tamarind

Heat a little oil and fry mustard, fenugreek, asafoetida, pepper, red chilies. Make sure not to burn any. Grind it to a paste along with tamarind, turmeric.
Heat oil and add veggies. Fry for few minutes. Close the lid and let it cook on medium heat (do not add water).
When the veggies are almost cooked, add the paste, salt. Cover the lid and cook till done.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 20mins

Updated: According to original recipe, while making the paste, add a little water so that the dish gets a little gravy(like pickle with oil). I just changed a bit to make it very dry.

26 thoughts on “Spicy vegetables(Chow chow)”

  1. Wow, i knew abt this dish only after marriage. My mom makes mitkesange noche (chitmitki) in a similar was except adding a bit of jaggery. This is my hubbys favorite. I usually make it on alternate Tuesdays, and taste gr8 with dalitoy.

    I dont know if this is a North Kanara speciality. My MIL said it is Honnavar speciality, as she is from Goa. If anyone can highlight on the same.

    1. This dish was created by a Konkani catering cook in Mumbai years and years ago – probably more than 70 years ago – at a wedding lunch. He was asked create an unusual vegetable dish and he came up with this recipe. Don’t think it is a Honavar specialty!

  2. Hi Shilpa,
    Never heard about this dish. From the name and picture I thought is this chinese or what?? hmm.. something new.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ah, the lovely things that the word “chow-chow” represents 🙂 Great preparation, Shilpa! i am gonna’ try this recipe soon, do you think it will work with other vegetables too (bell peppers, squashes etc)?

    i have heard chow-chow being used for chayote squash even in Bangalore. And then, there is my favorite chow-chow baath 😀

    Shilpa: Musy, I think these masalas go well with these vegetables as all these have a mild taste (according to me bell pepper has a strong taste 😉 ). Since Squashes are a lot watery, I am not sure if they will be good with this masala.
    Arey..I don’t know how I forgot about chow chow baath :D. Wanted to mention but forgot when I typed this 🙁

  4. I was going to ask about Chow Chow, because the only Chow Chow I know of is the chow chow bath, I used to have it for breakfast almost every day when I was in Bangalore… (I was way thinner then 🙂 )… Then I saw musy’s comment… So chow chow can mean three different things, huh?

    Lovely pics btw, great lighting…

  5. Shilpa that dish looks truly nutritious! I had come across the word few months ago and wanted precise meaning, so referred to a dictionary -Oxford..here goes my findings-
    chow – informal, chiefly N.American FOOD.
    chow-chow – 1. a Chinese preserve of ginger, orange peel, and other ingredients, in syrup.
    2. a mixed vegetable pickle.
    Amazing naa!! Thanks for sharing your simple recipe and the note at footer too! Shall try this.

  6. The carrots – beans – potatoes combo is something that I make very often…you’ve given me a new way of preparing them now..thanks Shilpa 🙂

  7. That dish really looks spicy! YUM!Good one Shilpa. Like the chow chow, Chow chow is a kind of vegetable here for seeme or B’lore Badanekai!:D

  8. Thanks, Shilpa for finally posting this recipe..

    I was looking for this a for a very long time.

    One of my aunts, who is from Shirali, used to make this and she really used to make it spicy hot..just the way I loved it.

    Tastes great with Dalithoy…

    Just wanted to mention, not a day passes without my checking out your blog for new\old-but-fogotten recipes and I always find something interesting..

  9. Shilpa, this reminds me of Chitrapur Saraswat weddings, where chow chow is often served. Raaga has blogged about this on her site also. You are right it is like a crunchy pickle with mixed vegetables. You make me so nostalgic.

  10. Hey Shilp,
    This was a great dish—especially for people like us who love vegetables. I fried the vegetables (shallow fry) a little ,when crisp added the masala you have suggested ,it was yummy.
    We decided the next time we have guests around this is a must(mast) dish around.
    I added vinegar instead of tamarind–so this retained the color of the vegies.the masala —was just powered and added on top before serving—-
    thank u

  11. Hye,
    This is the first time im surfing such a website, i wish i had seen this before, lot of informations. great, this recipe sounds new and looks amazing, ivl try it out definitly.
    Great going
    with love,

  12. Hi Shilpa,

    Its been a while since my last visit to your blog 🙂 tried this recipe, as always it turned out good. It’s a plus that we get to know so much about the places where these recipes may have originated. Good work.

  13. Pingback: Dinner spread « Scales - To measure, to weigh and to balance

  14. Hi. I am so happy that I found your blog. You have amazing recipes. I love the pictures too. This weekend I tried out your Spicy vegetables and wow! it is so yummy. Thanks a lot. Nice to see konkan recipes. I love trying out new cuisines.

  15. Chow Chow as my Amma used to make it is like your Ayi used to make – a dry version. However your variation is also good.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.