Well we moved to a new home and lo and behold there was a huge, heavy laden choko vine in the backyard. None of us had ever liked choko (or even tried it), but we were not going to waste good food so we had to come up with some delicious ways to eat it. So here are some ideas apart from the traditional use in apple pie and soups.
Firstly we should mention that chokos are very easy to grow, yield a good size crop and are very nutritious. They are a good source of vitamin C and are high in dietary fiber.
The young tender chokos are easiest to use as there is no need to peel them. They also seem to have more flavour. They have a darker more vibrant green skin and you can pierce it with your finger nail. If the choko is a bit older and tougher, you will need to peel it. Be careful as the chokos are very slippery as you take off the peel. I did read that you can chop off both ends and soak them in warm water for a few minutes to take away the slipperiness but have not tried it as yet.
Here is how we came to love chokos and we hope that you do too.
GARLIC FRIED CHOKO
Some Brazilian friends had told us how they LOVE choko fried in garlic and onion so that was the first dish on the menu. However we made it just with garlic and it was scrumptious. We sceptically prepared this dish using only a couple of chokos at first, in case we didn’t like it. Well, it was a favourite at the table and we regretted making so little. Danny and Marco loved it so much that promptly after breakfast they ran out to the backyard and harvested as many chokos as their little hands could reach. Presenting them to us in the kitchen with big grins they exclaimed “Look Mummy and Aunty Tashy, we picked the chokos for you.” We both knew that they were hoping for another meal of “garlic fried choko” and sure enough they requested it again the next day!
2 Tbs olive oil
2 large or 4 small chokos (about 500g)
4-8 cloves fresh garlic
1 tsp Celtic Sea salt
Chop the chokos so that you have pieces about 4mm thick (I usually cut the choko in half, then into strips and then cut into three but you can do it as you please).
Fry choko in the oil and salt for a few minutes
Add crushed garlic and continue to stir occasionally until tender.
A gentleman at the markets told us that choko chips is the favourite at his barbeques so we decided to try those too. This quickly became Naders favourite, and well to be honest, we were all pleasantly surprised at how good they really were! We have made them several times since.
BATTERED CHOKO FRITTERS - GLUTEN FREE
Finally at a luncheon we were introduced to battered chokos. I have no idea what was in them but decided to make a gluten free version.
1 large choko, sliced to about 4mm thick
1 cup besan (chickpea) flour
2 ½ tsp herb salt (such as herbamere)
1 cup water
½-1 cup rice crumbs
Olive oil and water for frying
Whisk together the besan flour, water, 1 Tbs olive oil and 2 tsp salt to form a batter
Use the method below for frying using minimal oil
1. Heat a large non stick fry pan to a medium heat. (the fry pan must have a lid)
2. Dip the slices of choko in the batter and then rice crumbs and place in slightly oiled pan.
3. Cover with the lid and leave for a couple of minutes, until the underside is browned.
4. Lift lid and pour 1/8-1/4 of a cup of water in spaces between choko and cover immediately.
5. Leave until all water absorbed, then drizzle a very small amount of oil on the top of the choko slices and flip them.
6. Repeat steps 5 to 7 for the other side of the choko slices.
7. Finally turn the slices over to crisp up the top side as it may be slightly softened by the steam.
The choko inside the batter should be tender and cooked and the batter surrounding it browned.
Of course, you could simply fry them using more oil but we use the minimal method for the healthier option.
Posted By: Melissa and Natasha