I am new to cooking with raw papaya. We don’t buy green/raw papaya at all, and rarely eat it. However, as part of my always ongoing resolution to experiment with new ingredients in the kitchen and whip up dishes totally new to me, raw papaya has been very intriguing. I made a Gujarati-style sambhariyu out of raw papaya last year, and have been waiting to try my hands out at making more dishes out of it.
Also, I have never been wondering how something that looks as boring as a green papaya can make such an awesomely-tasting Thai salad that has people raving about it. I have never had this salad, ever, and have been dying to try it out. So, when I saw this simple recipe for it, there was no holding back. A Thai green papaya salad was recently made, as a part of our lunch packs, and was much loved. It was so much loved, in fact, that I am positive it is going to make a regular appearance at our kitchen table henceforth!
The salad tastes beautiful, with simple and clean flavours that seem to rejuvenate the taste buds. What’s more, it is super easy to whip up, and can be made in a matter of minutes. Now that summer is fast approaching, this kind of salad would make for a great accompaniment to lunch, the heat that green papaya induces notwithstanding.
Here is how I made the salad.
Ingredients (makes 4 medium-sized portions):
1 small raw papaya, peeled and grated thickly
1/4 cup raw peanuts, dry roasted on a low flame till crisp, then left to cool down, with the skin removed
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Salt, to taste
The juice of 2 small lemons
2 tablespoons honey
A small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, very finely chopped
2 green chillies, very very finely chopped – you don’t want to bite on a hot, big bit of it while you are eating your salad!
- Pulse the peanuts in a mixer, after the skin has been removed, for just a second. You should get coarsely crushed peanuts, not a fine powder. Keep aside.
- Take the grated raw papaya in a bowl. Add the chopped green chillies, chopped coriander, pomegranate seeds, salt to taste, lemon juice, and honey to it. Mix well. Taste and adjust sweetness or salt, if required.
- Let it sit for about 10 minutes for the flavours to blend well together. Add the crushed peanuts and serve immediately, otherwise the peanuts will start to lose their crispiness. If you don’t plan on serving the salad immediately, you could keep the ingredients grated, chopped and ready, and mix up the salad just 10 minutes prior to serving.
Try this out and let me know how you like it, will you?