Sweet Potato and Choko Curry

Happy Monday!!

Today I thought I would share a delicious, healthy, Ayurvedic-ish curry recipe I made last week.
One of my colleagues brought a bunch of Sweet Potatoes and Choko’s (or Chayote) to work for anyone that wanted them, naturally I took a couple.
I try to follow an Ayurvedic diet as much as possible, and curry’s, vegetables and rice figure a lot in the world of Ayurveda, so I came up with this concoction to use my free loot!

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Sweet Potato is one of those magical comfort foods, despite it being “heavy” it is easily digested, and eliminated due to it’s high fibre content. It pacifies Kapha, and feels light in the stomach whilst still being nourishing. Sweet Potato is full of complex carbohydrates so even though it is light, it keeps you fuller for longer. Plus, good news for diabetics: According to preliminary studies it may help stabilise blood sugar levels. Sweet Potato is used all over the world in a variety of ways, and no wonder, I think everyone has cottoned on to how good this orange, starchy, sweet, creamy vegetable is!

Now lets talk about Choko or Chayote, as it’s second name suggests, it is native to South America, but used all over the world.
Choko are very versatile and grow like a weed in Australia. I ate lots of them as a child, my Grandmother used to grow them on the side of her chicken pen, she would peel, quarter, steam/boil them, and serve the Choko with a dob of butter and some salt and pepper, simple but delicious!
Choko remind me of her, and I think that goes some way to explaining why I love them.
Choko can be quite bland, but Dad roasts them with the usual type of Sunday roast veges (potato, pumpkin, carrot, onion etc.), the flavour they take on is amazing!
It’s true what they say, Choko will take on the flavour of whatever you put it with, they can be served raw in salads, boiled, mashed, baked, stuffed, pickled, BBQ’d, curried…
I feel a little like Bubba from Forest Gump, explaining all the ways you can cook shrimp, but Choko are a surprisingly multitalented fruit.
Now back to the Ayurvedic perspective; Choko have a high potassium content and are full of amino acids and Vitamin C, they are classed as quite warming, anti-inflammatory and are excellent for Kapha constitutions, but should be eaten in moderation for Pitta’s – Wah! I’m a split Vata/Pitta.

Alright, now I’ve bored you sufficiently with my food geekiness, I’ll give you the recipe.

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Sweet Potato and Choko Curry
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
1x large Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped in medium sized chunks, boiled until soft
1x large Choko, peeled, seed removed, chopped into cubes
3x medium sized Tomatoes, skin removed, finely chopped
1 large Onion, finely diced
4 cloves of Garlic, finely diced (4 cloves because I love garlic, for those less garlic inclined you can use less. Also garlic can be substituted for 1/2 teaspoon of Asafoetida/Hing)
1 teaspoon of ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon of Mustard Seeds
10-12 Curry leaves
1 teaspoon of smokey Paprika
1 tablespoon of Coriander powder
1 teaspoon of Cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of ground Black Pepper
Salt to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons Ghee or Coconut oil (or both)
chopped fresh Coriander leaves for garnish
steamed Basmati rice to serve

Method:
– Heat oil in a pot/fry pan, add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop.
– Add curry leaves and stir fry for a minute while the flavours infuse into the oil.
– Add the onions and sauté until they turn translucent, add the garlic and cook until onions are light golden brown.
– Add all the spices and stir to combine, allow the spices to heat through, but not to burn.
– Add the Choko, cook stirring frequently for about 5-10 minutes, if the mix is very dry add a little water.
– Add the tomatoes and stir fry until the oil starts to separate and the tomatoes have collapsed into deliciousness
– Add the Sweet Potato and combine. Keep covered with a lid on low heat, simmer for 5 mins
– Check the Choko has softened, if it is still firm/hard replace the lid and check again in 5 mins.
– Remove lid, allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the curry has reached your desired consistency.
– Serve onto plate or bowls over the top of fluffy steamed basmati rice, garnish with fresh coriander.

I hope you try out this recipe and  have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to substitute. Pumpkin & Zucchini would have a similar flavour and would be delicious!

– Cass xo –

Kudos – I got some info for this post from:
Ayurvedic Curative Cuisine for Everyone – Light Miller
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chayote
http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/ingredient/Sweet-Potato/186