When you hear about papaya, the first thing comes to mind are the yellow bell shaped fruits with hundreds of dark black seeds. The ripe papaya seasoned with some red chili powder and salt is one of the most consumed roadside snacks of Bengal during the summer time. As for me, I walk a few feet away from wherever there is the yellow papaya, I am averse to the smell of ripe papaya.
Though I almost hate ripe papayas, but I’m in love with the raw green ones. The raw papaya has high amount of the papain enzyme. It is good for the skin as well as the heart. But, its most important benefit is it helps as a digestive enzyme. And, probably because of this the dida (grandmother from mom’s side) also used to put a few slices of papaya when she prepared mutton curry, to tenderize the meat.
The raw papaya is also used in other types of curries with potatoes, onions and garlic. But, my mom prepares it in a very different way. The grated papaya is mixed with grated coconut – this gives it a divine taste.
The winners for last month’s Saffron Road Food giveaway is Shailaja and Leo Martis.
Narkel Diye Pepe
- 1 small papaya washed and grated
- 1 medium size potato, cut into one-inch cubes
- ½ cup freshly grated coconut
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 2 tablespoon mustard oil
- Salt to taste
- Take the grated papaya in a deep bottom vessel and cover it with water, boil till the papaya becomes tender
- Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder to the potatoes, shallow fry them till they are half done. Keep aside
- Pour in about 1 tablespoon of oil in the same wok, and throw in the cumin seeds, as they start sputtering add the potatoes, boiled papaya and all the spices. Season with salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes till the spices are well mixed. Now, add the grated coconut and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add little water if the curry turns to dry. Cook covered till the potatoes are cooked. Sprinkle the garam masala and ghee, mix well. Serve with roti or rice.