I’ve never cooked with boppayakaya (green papaya) until I had my son. It is supposed to be really healthy and good for nursing moms. Papaya tastes almost like sorakaya (doodhi) or bengaluru vankaya (chayote squash), but it does not have the crisp texture. Raw papayas can be a little hard to chop, but other than that they are very easy to work it. We get raw papayas in Indian stores and even in the farmers market here in NJ.
Boppayakaya (Green Papaya) – 1 medium, chopped into ½ “pieces
Green chilies – 2
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Sesame – Red Chili powder – 2tbsp*
Curry leaves – 4**
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1tbsp
- Microwave the papaya pieces with ½ cup water until tender (it took about 6 mins in my mw).
- Heat oil in a sauté pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds; after the seeds splutter add curry leaves and green chilies.
- Then add the microwaved boppayakaya, turmeric, sesame powder and salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes for the flavors to mingle.
- Uncover and increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the pieces turn slightly golden brown around the edges.
- Serve hot with rice and sambar.
* Sesame-Chili powder: Dry roast 1/2 cup sesame seeds with 6 red chilies until they are slightly golden. Grind into smooth powder with little salt. This can be used in curries with potlakaya (snake gourd), beerakaya (ridge gourd) or bottle (sorakaya gourd).
** I did not buy curry leaves for the past one and half months. Twice the quality was poor and last week, they had about 10 leaves in the packet for 99 cents. I didn't miss them too much and then I thought it was just me, but I read this at Jugalbandi and I guess curry leaves are dispensable in an Indian kitchen.