The small ones are the ones we eat [like those lower left in the photo].
Steam a few minutes for the tiny ones whole or sliced medium-sized ones. Sweet and delicious.
Large chokos develop a tough skin and are flavorless compared with the tiny ones. We spice large ones to make them worth eating. They are kept in a cold place until we have no more small ones on the plant. Then we use the large ones [unless we’ve given them away].
Large chokos are usually the ones available in shops. If you see small ones, choose them for flavor.
Chokos grow on a rampant vine. Our’s covers the back fence and a tree. It will die back as cold winter weather and frosts arrive.
The roots remain in the ground to re-sprout next spring. Covering the roots with mulch for protection in winter helps this short-lived perennial plant last longer.
The choko seed will sprout from the large end into a whole new plant. It first grows a new shoot and begins to grow small rootlets.
It can be now planted into a garden bed in a frost free zone, or into a pot, large end down, of good potting mix [or at least the growing rootlets covered with soil for protection]. Plant out into garden on a trellis or other support after all frosts and freezing weather has past in spring.
Recipes for delightful chokos:
 For small chokos, about thumb-length
Place in saucepan or steamer with a small amount of water.
Simmer gently until cooked [a knife pierces the flesh easily, like going through butter]
If you like, add a small amount of cracked black pepper, and/or salt, and or butter [not oil].
Or do as we do and enjoy their fresh, buttery flavor ‘as is’.
 For large chokos, about hand-sized – spiced and diced
Peel, remove the large central seed and dice into cubes, about 1 cm [1/2 inch] size; or slice as you prefer.
In a heavy-based saucepan create a spice mix to flavor chokos however you like it.
Our spice mix is often:
1 teas cumin [ground]
1 teas coriander [ground]
1 teas turmeric [ground]
1 tiny pinch asafoetida/hing [optional]
salt and cracked black pepper as you prefer
add chilli if you like it hot
Gently heat 1 tblspn oil [olive is what we use] in the pan and add the dry spices. Gently cook for 1 minute.
Add choko pieces.
We usually add other vegetables with the choko – beans, marrow, whatever is available to make a mixed vegetable dish which forms the basis of a vegetarian meal.
Stir all veg to coat with spices.
Cover pan and cook over a very low heat until soft. Stir frequently.
Serve and enjoy.
 For large chokos, about hand-sized – baked in cheese sauce
Dice chokos and cut other vegetables similar sizes.
Steam until just cooked.
Make a white sauce [eg melt 1 tblspn butter in a saucepan; add1 tblspn flour; mix well; cook gently 1 minute; add 1/2 cup milk and whisk constantly over heat until thickens and bubbles]
Transfer veg into an oven dish and pour white sauce over.
Grate cheese over the top.
Place in oven at 200C until hot and the cheese melts and browns.
 For large chokos, about hand-sized – soup!
Peel and chop 1 large choko
Slice equal amount of 1 small marrow/tromboncino/other veg
Cook until soft [we use a soup maker which is wonderful]
with 1 teas oil
1/4 teas turmeric
3/4 L strong, flavorful stock [as the veg are pretty bland!]
garlic, chilli, salt and pepper or other spices to taste
Serve with your preferred garnish [this one has chopped parsley, rocket, milk thistle and Herb Robert], home-made bread, a legume dish [our preferred is peanut butter on the bread!] and a salad.