Papaya is such a pretty fruit. Makes me wish that eating ripe papaya didn’t make me want to kill myself. However, it does come with a plethora of health benefits, so I spent some time thinking about ways in which I could eat the stuff without my tongue wanting to jump ship.
I’ve been fascinated with the idea of using raw papaya in a savoury dish for some time now. Also, I just got a new tabletop coconut grater, so this seemed like the perfect time to give it a shot.
I’ve tried this dish with completely raw (firm and green flesh) and it wasn’t quite right, so I tried semi-ripened papaya and it worked out beautifully. Plus with all the lovely pale yellow/pink colors, this is such a pretty dish.
- 1 semi-ripened papaya, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 4 tbsp freshly grated coconut
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 7-8 curry leaves (more if you’re using dried)
- Heat the oil, throw in the mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds are sputtering, throw in the papaya and stir till all chunks are coated.
- Add coconut, salt, pepper and spices and cook till the chunks are tender (but not mushy) – takes about 10 minutes depending on the ripeness of the flesh.
- Add the curry leaves at the last minute, cook till everything’s blended (about a minute) and serve with steamed rice.
This is a fairly dry dish, so don’t leave more than the barest minimum of moisture in it when you are done cooking. The coconut will absorb a little moisture after you’re done, but you can also always rehydrate when you re-heat.