Chayote Squash and Ash Pumpkin Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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This is a simpler version of the very traditional moru kuzhambu, quite commonly made in many south Indian homes and at wedding feasts. My friend Revathi Subramaniam shared her recipe with me. Being lazy, I have made it quite a bit simpler and easier to serve as a hearty soup, though one could argue it is really a stew. But it’s an essentially south Indian dish with typical flavors.

Coconut and Yogurt soup with squash


  • Chayote squash cubes – 1 cup
  • Ash pumpkin or cucumber cut into sticks – 1 cup
  • Ground turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Rasam Powder – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 6 – 8
  • Chopped Cilantro (coriander leaves) – 2 tbs
  • Thai Chilies – slit – 3
  • Dry Red Chili – 1
  • Black mustard seeds (kadugu) – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Frozen desiccated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • rice flour – 1 tsp
  • light sesame oil – 2 tbs
  • salt – to taste
  • Plain non fat or low fat Yogurt – 2 cups


  1. In a large saucepan add the vegetables, turmeric, rasam powder and 1/2 tsp salt in 1/2 inch of water and bring to boil. Cook covered over low heat for 4 – 5 minutes
  2. Grind the coconut, 2 green chilies, one red chili, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, cilantro, curry leaves and rice flour with 1/4 cup of water till the chillies are well ground. Add this paste in to the pot and stir. Cook covered for 3 -5 minutes till the squash is cooked but still firm. Remove from heat for a few minutes.
  3. Blend the yogurt in the same blender for 1 minute till it is frothy. Pour this into the pot while stirring quickly to make sure the yogurt does not separate.
  4. Serve warm or chilled with a garnish of minced curry leaves and/or cilantro.
  5. Serve warm or chilled along with dry toast, fresh crusty bread, a chilled dry white wine (Orvieto, pinot grigio or a chardonnay perhaps) and a simple tossed salad with a lemon olive oil dressing.