This Bengali-style Chili-Mint Chayote recipe is a great vegetable side dish blending the sharp taste of Mustard Oil with Chili and Mint.
This dish was originally created with a view to it being served hot. It turns out, however, that it is very nice cold, and the spicy, minty flavored, and crisply tender Chayote preparation makes a nice vegetable side dish as a small part of an Indian meal. Indeed, it can take the place of a pickle, or chutney as a very tasty accompaniment to a Biriyani, or a Curry.
Ingredient Notes for Bengali-style Chili Mint Chayote
If you are not very familiar with Chayote, you really should take the opportunity to try out this interesting variety of Squash. I very much like it in Chinese dishes, myself, such as in my extremely easy to prepare recipe for Chayote with Salted Duck Egg.
Mustard Oil may be an unfamiliar ingredient to some readers, but it is commonly used in India, especially in Bengali cuisine where it adds a piquant sharpness to may dishes. Here, I am using a blend of Mustard Oil and Vegetable Oil to temper the effect slightly, but you may use all Mustard Oil, or even all Vegetable Oil if this better suits your taste.
First, mix the diced Chayote with the Lemon juice and the Salt, and allow it to sit for at least twenty minutes.
Here, you can see the spice ingredients for this dish. I am using dried Kashmiri Chillies here, but you can substitute for anything you prefer.
To prepare the spices, cut the Chillies cross-wise into 1cm pieces and discard the seeds, then grind together the Coriander and Fennel Seeds along with the Cardamom Powder.
Heat the Oil in a pan over high heat and add the Mustard Seeds. When they begin to pop, add in the Chili pieces and stir quickly until they begin to darken.
Now add the ground spice mx and stir until the aroma rises.
Add in the Tomato along with a quarter cup of water and cook, stirring, until the water has almost evaporated and the Tomatoes are just starting to collapse.
Finally, add in the Chayote pieces along with any liquid they have thrown off, stir in the Mint, and cook a minute or to longer until all is heated through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before use.
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Bengali-style Chili-Mint Chayote
- 2 Cups diced Chayote Squash
- 4 or 5 dried Kashmiri Chillies
- 1 Tbsp. Brown Mustard Seed.
- 1 Tbsp. Coriander Seed
- 1 Tbsp. Fennel Seed
- 1 pinch Cardamom Powder
- 1 Medium Tomato de-seeded and diced
- 2 Tbsp. shredded Fresh Mint.
- 2 Tbsp. Mustard Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil.
- Marinate the Chayote with the Salt and Lemon Juice for at least twenty minutes.
- Cut the dried Chillies into 1cm sections and discard the seeds.
- Grind the Coriander and the Fennel Seeds together and mix with the Cardamom powder.
- Heat the two Oils over a high flame and temper the Mustard seeds and the Chili.
- Stir in the ground spices and stir until the aroma rises.
- Add the Tomatoes and a quarter cup of water, then cook until almost all the water is evaporated.
- Add the Chayote followed by the Mint and cook just until all is heated through.
- Allow to cool before serving as a side dish.