Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by hedwig, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

    Jul 28, 2005
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    I have TWO chilacyote ( a south american perennial squash) vines. They ore profilic however I don't know too much what to do with them.
  2. Tas'

    Tas' Junior Member

    May 26, 2007
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    ...They can be eaten tiny, like zucchini, or left till the seeds form.

    Use chunks of the fresh fruit with stir-fried veges, or in chilled fruit salad. Chilacayote doesn't taste of much, but the texture is firm and good, and it will borrow the flavours of anything it is cooked with. We eat some as zucchini, stir fried, but most we either feed to the chooks, give to friends, or grate and add to jams - about half chilcayote to other fruit. Great with plums, raspberries or apricot; not bad in chutney; also makes a good ginger and lime jam. In this case the chilacayote produces most of the bulk. Use any recipe for melon jam...

    Chilacayote and ginger marmalade

    Take a kilo of chopped chilacayote. Add a kilo of sugar, 1 cup water, and the juice and zest of three lemons or limes and a dessert spoon of grated ginger or half that of powdered. Boil until it turns rich brown. Only add more water if needed.

    Chilacayote and plum jam
    2 kilos of chopped chilacayote
    1 kilo plums
    2 kilos sugar

    Boil all ingredients. Test a little and when it sets in cold water, it is ready. Semi ripe sour apples may be substituted for the plums. Either makes a very good jam. ... ayote.html
  3. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

    Jul 28, 2005
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    thanks for the recipes i've googled a bit meanwhile.
    There are recipes which ask for water and lime (what garden lime???).
    Do you take the seeds out? It#s tedioues!!

    The recipies I'll put in another post it's long
    Some seems to exaggerate greatly my cooking patience!
  4. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

    Jul 28, 2005
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    recipies - LONG!!

    4-6 pounds of diced chilacayote

    1 tablespoon of lime

    3 1/2 pounds sugar

    500 grams brown sugar (not raw sugar)

    2 cups water

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    2 cinnamon sticks

    Beat , peel and dice the chilacayote. Then place it in a large bowl, add

    the lime and cover with water. Leave it overnight. The following day,

    wash and squeeze it gentle. Place sugar, cinnamon, water and salt in a

    saucepan and bring to the boil, remove any scum that rises to the top.

    Add the chilacayote and keep at a gentle boil until it looks transparent

    and the syrup is sticky. It takes around 6 hours. Serve cold. It is

    usually served without the syrup.

    Cheveaux d'Ange

    Another celebrated way of using Malabar Gourd is in a sweetmeat called Cheveaux d'Ange. There are various recipes floating around including the one that is more like a flavoured honey and another that uses sugar. To prepare, cut the flesh into small cubes and simmer them in boiling salted water for about an hour. When they are tender, pour off the water and refresh the cubes with plenty of cold water. Drain them when cold, and place in a large bowl. Now stir them about with a fork, separating the flesh into strands rather like spaghetti squash. (This can now be mixed with mashed potato and baked in an oven with egg and cheese topping.) For the flavoured honey, mix the flesh with its own weight in honey (acacia for preference) and leave for a day. Then simmer gently for about half an hour, until it is golden in colour, and bottle. "This is the famous Cheveaux d'Ange, once highly esteemed in Paris."

    Weigh a good quantity of the flesh before shredding it with a food processor and put it in a bowl with its own weight in sugar. Leave it for an hour, to draw out the juices. Put flesh, sugar and juice in a pan and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the shredded pumpkin is very soft. Add 5 to 15 ml of orange blossom water for each 500 gram of pumpkin. Serve sprinkled with chopped pistachio nuts and double cream or mascarpone.

    Chila jam - Doce de chila - Cheveux d'ange

    Chilacayote (Cucurbita ficifolia) is known as Malabar Gourd, Courge de Siam in French and Chila in Portuguese, belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family which includes the cucumbers, melons, squashes, and pumpkins all of them heat lovers.

    One Chila plant is a rampant vine that will take a vast amount of space and climb everywhere. It can be also very prolific, I had 25 large fruit from one plant in the summer of 1999, I must confess that I planted it under the manure heap.

    The fruits are extremely decorative and will keep indoors for a long time, however they must not be eaten before toxins are washed away otherwise you might have a bad tummy upset. I have read that bitter marrows and cucumbers can have toxins called 'cucurbitacins' however I have no idea if it is also the case with the Chilas.

    Therefore this is a somewhat complicated recipe for a very pretty jam which can be made with its thread like flesh. This jam is very popular in Portugal where Chilas are grown throughout the country and forms the basis for many traditional sweet meats.

    The older the Chila the better it will be, so you may keep yours for decoration and when you get tired of it or it has developed some soft spots, then cook it. They can keep for several years and when the green colours start fading then they are ready for the pot.

    Start by cracking the Chila, if in doubt throw it on the floor and it will split nicely. You must remove all the spine like dark bits in the centre by hand in order to avoid breaking the threads. Just boil the chunks after peeling and deseeding it. After it has been boiled remove any seeds that were left over then keep the flesh in plenty of cold water with lemon peel for two or three days. Change the water several times a day, I think that the reason for this is to remove the toxins. Drain very well squeezing it by hand and weigh.

    Now my 89 years old aunt uses for each kilo 1.3 kg sugar. In a preserving pot dissolve the sugar in a minimum of water and add lemon peel and a stick of cinnamon. Bring to hard ball temperature (120º C/ 250º F) and then add the threads. Cook until it reaches small crack stage (138º C/ 280º F). Pot the usual way.

    Another simpler recipe from a younger friend is made with say 0.9 kg sugar for each kilo of threads and then made just like ordinary jam adding water just a touch of water to cover the bottom of the saucepan.


    Rendimiento: 1 kg
    Tiempo de preparación: 5 días


    ̊ 2 1/2 kg de azúcar morena
    ̊ 1 kg de chilacayote
    ̊ 4 litros de agua
    ̊ 1 taza de azúcar finamente molida
    ̊ 1/2 taza de cal*

    * Se consigue en tlapalerías.


    ̊ recipiente con capacidad de 3 litros, o bien, una cubeta de plástico grande y bien limpia
    ̊ olla con tapa con capacidad de 3 litros
    ̊ cuchara de acero inoxidable
    ̊ taza medidora
    ̊ cuchillo de acero inoxidable
    ̊ tabla para picar
    ̊ bastidor de madera con tela de mosquitero y 4 pinzas de madera como soporte
    ̊ 1/2 metro de tela de velo o manta de cielo para cubrir la fruta en el secado
    ̊ papel celofán
    ̊ alfiler con cabeza
    ̊ colador grande


    1. Mezcle en el recipiente los dos litros de agua y la cal. Una vez disuelta la cal, agregue la fruta, procurando que quede bien sumergida. Deje reposar por 24 horas. Transcurrido ese lapso, lave la fruta con agua potable.

    2. Corte el chilacayote en rebanadas de 3 cm de espesor. Después, con un alfiler pínchelo de manera uniforme.

    3. En la olla de tres litros, ponga a hervir dos litros de agua con dos kilogramos de azúcar durante cinco minutos. Una vez que el almíbar esté listo, agregue la fruta y deje hervir durante una hora.

    4. Al cabo de ese lapso retire del fuego, tape y deje reposar 24 horas en un lugar fresco y seco. Posteriormente, agréguele media taza de azúcar y póngalo a hervir una hora; deje reposar durante una día. Repita este procedimiento tres veces.

    5. Pasado ese lapso, saque la fruta, acomódelas, una por una, en el bastidor, separadas entre sí para facilitar el secado; cubra con el velo o gasa y exponga al sol durante ocho horas o hasta que seque perfectamente.

    6. Por último, ponga a hervir un litro de agua, coloque el chilacayote en un colador grande y sumerja rápidamente en el agua. Posteriormente, espolvoree con el azúcar finamente molida.

    Envasado, conservación y caducidad:
    Envuelva los dulces cristalizados en papel celofán o en plástico y colóquelos en una canasta. Consérvelas en un sitio fresco y seco.
    El chilacayote elaborado mediante esta tecnología tiene una duración de tres meses.

    Cuando compre chilacayote asegúrese de que tenga forma ovalada y presente cáscara lisa, de color verde brillante, ligeramente moteada, sin magulladuras.

    Ingredientes alternativos:
    ̊ Puede utilizar azúcar glass en lugar del azúcar finamente molida.
    ̊ La cáscara de limón, naranja, higo verde o calabaza también se puede cristalizar. Recuerde que para cada fruta requerirá preparar un almíbar por separado. Los cítricos no se remojan en cal, sólo se sumergen en el jarabe durante tres días. El paso final consiste en preparar un jarabe con dos tazas de agua hirviendo y siete cucharadas soperas de azúcar, las cáscaras se sumergen durante dos segundos y se dejan secar en una charola.

    Mejor respuesta - elegida por los votantes
    Dorar carne de cerdo o pollo, agregar el chilacayote picado en cuadritos. Agregar salsa de pipiàn o mole. o Salsa de chile pasilla. sabe requetebien.



    1 chilacayote grande.

    4 tapas de dulce de caña.

    Canela al gusto.

    Preparación: Corte la fruta con algo pesado o dejándola caer al
    piso, divídala en trozos regularmente medianos.

    Colóquelos en una olla con suficiente agua a cocinar. Déjelo reposar
    por una noche, luego de haberlos escurrido. Al día siguiente ponga el
    agua con la canela y el dulce a hervir. Cuando rompa hervor agregue
    los pedazos de chilacayote sin cáscara y tape. Cocine a fuego lento
    durante 1 ò 2 horas, poco antes de apagar el fuego destape para que
    consuma el agua un poco. Sírvalo caliente o helado.

    1 chilacayote
    1 rajita de canela
    4 libras de azúcar
    ¼ taza de cal por litro de agua


    Golpee con una paleta, bolillo o palo el chilacayote, quite la cáscara gruesa con un cuchillo y parta en pedazos regulares, póngalo en un recipiente y cúbralo con agua de cal y déjelo en esa agua. Péselo y lávelo, luego ponga a cocer con un poco de agua, agregue poco a poco el azúcar que debe ser ½ libra por libra de fruta, deje hervir hasta que dé punto. Sosteniendo de las orejas de la olla, haga movimientos para evitar que se peque en la olla. Saque de la olla y colóquelo en un recipiente, sírvase frío.
  5. Mysterious

    Mysterious Junior Member

    Apr 30, 2012
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    I am growing this for the first time. I live in Sydney and planted this around September last year. While it grew vigorously (vine and leaves only) for a number of months, once summer came on it really did not like the brutal afternoon sun that it received where it is. I thought the thing had died and was surprised to find a young melon on the vine last weekend. i thought the vine I was looking at was of a pumpkin I had planted in the vicinity.

    I stir fried it chinese style to great affect. The fact it has very little flavour works well as it soaked up the taste of the fermented black beans and rice wine perfectly. Have got another melon coming on and I think it should be a perfect chinese winter melon substitute in another chinese dish where i will be cooking it up in a shiitake broth with ham.

    Also looking forward to making that south american drink out of it that the internet talks about - agua de chilacayote.

    Curious to see how this plant performs over time given it is supposed to be perennial.

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