Spice Ninja's Blog

Healthy Indian fusion food made easy.

Semi-ripened Papaya with Cocount July 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — fortheloveofpie @ 9:43 am
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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. 1 semi-ripened papaya, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  2. 4 tbsp freshly grated coconut
  3. Salt and pepper to taste
  4. 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  5. 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  6. 1/4 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
  7. 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  8. 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  9. 7-8 curry leaves (more if you’re using dried)


  1. Heat the oil, throw in the mustard seeds.
  2. When the mustard seeds are sputtering, throw in the papaya and stir till all chunks are coated.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


Fish and Eggplant Curry June 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — fortheloveofpie @ 11:49 pm
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Chinatown fish markets are brilliant. They are not places where you can be a sissy about touching fish or assorted slimy things. Stand shoulder to shoulder (or maybe shoulder to head) with little old ladies as they stick their hands into tubs full of live eels as you try not to faint. Then, you pull up your socks and grab a steak or assorted viscera, whatever strikes your fancy and you’re on your way.

Today I tried the fresh grouper. The Grouper fish, a lovely, delicate whitefish has a few bones, but they’re easy enough to deal with. It’s easy enough to cook – you can do a pretty fantastic seared grouper with a basic lemon zest/thyme/salt/pepper dressing and it looks impressive (provided you care enough to crisp up the skin).

Since mom is a-visiting and she’s been kind enough to feed mah belleh during the week, it’s only fair that I <strike>experiment on</strike> cook for her on the weekends. Figured I’d do a simple little coconut fish curry and on a whim, threw in some Japenese eggplant. Here’s how.


  1. About 1 lb of grouper (or any other) fish – cut into 2 inch chunks
  2. Half a can of regular coconut milk (the ‘lite’ stuff is for sissies)
  3. About half a good-sized Japanese eggplant – sliced evenly
  4. One medium sized onion sliced thin (I like vidalias, but to each their own)
  5. 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1/2 tsp ginger/garlic paste (or 1/4 tsp of each, chopped fine)
  7. 4-5 curry leaves (I like to chiffonade ’em, but you can chuck them in whole too. Eat them though, they’re chock full of good vitaminey things)


  1. Salt to taste
  2. 1/4 tsp Red chilli powder (depending on how hot you like it – this dish doesn’t need to burn a hole in your esophagus though)
  3. 1/4 tsp Cumin powder
  4. 1/5 tsp Mustard seeds
  5. 1/4 tsp Tumeric powder
  6. 1/4 tsp Coriander powder
  7. A smidgen of Garam Masala – optional


  • Sputter the mustard seeds in the heated olive oil.
  • Soften the onions with the ginger/garlic paste – until the onions start to get some color.
  • Add the coconut milk, all the spices and the curry leaves. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the eggplant slices, simmer another 5-7 minutes or until they’re soft. You can half-cover the pot for this step – it’ll speed up the softening. Good idea for when you have a hungry mother poking you in the small of your back.
  • Add the fish chunks, cook for 5-7 minutes, until JUST cooked. DO NOT OVERCOOK YOUR FISH YOU BUMS.
  • Serve up with steamed Basmati rice.
Quick enough to satisfy hungry, impatient mothers.

Quick enough to satisfy hungry, impatient mothers.