What do you do when you peel a papaya and find that a lot of it is hard and green?
Try out my papaya rescue recipe – khatta-meetha papeeta, a light and flavorful accompaniment for an Indian meal. You could make khatta-meetha papeeta using green papaya or parts of a semi-ripe papaya.
- Green papaya or semi-ripe papaya – 1 medium
- Green chilies – 1 or 2
- Lime juice – 1 teaspoon
- Coriander leaves – 1 tablespoon, grated
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
- Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
- Panch phoron (Bengali five spice mix)* – 1 teaspoon
- Vegetable oil – 1 teaspoon
Peel, cut open and scoop out the seeds (if any) and white coat from the insides of the papaya. [Note: If the papaya is raw and small-sized, it may not have seeds at all.] Cut and set aside the ripe/juicy portions of the papaya; retain the raw and semi-ripe portions for this dish.
Grate the papaya.
Finely chop the green chilies.
In a non-stick pan, heat a teaspoon of oil and add panch phoron to it. When panchphoron crackles, add grated papaya, finely chopped green chilies, sugar and salt.
Toss on high flame for a couple of minutes till the papaya softens. Stir in lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves. Khatta-meetha paratha is now ready to eat. Tastes great with parathas and a spicy curry.
My meal today (picture below): sweet and sour green papaya with rice, toor dal and eggplant tomato curry.
*Panch-phoron is a whole spice mix most commonly used in Bengali cuisine. It contains fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and fennel seeds, typically in equal parts.