Omakka/kapplanga/Papaya is one of the plants you can see in the backyard of every house in my home state Kerala. I don’t know if anybody takes care of them. Once it is planted that’s all, it will grow and gives fruit. Only problem elder’s says that you have to choose the papaya plant which is a hermaphrodite to get fruit. Because a papaya plant produce male flowers, female flowers or hermaphrodite. If it is a female flower producing plant, then it need a male flower plant to get pollinated.
We eat both raw and ripe papaya, if it is raw we like to cook them and if ripe eat as is. However, you can see in Thai cuisine they use raw papaya to make salad. When we (me and my sister) were young we used to make garland with cut stems of papaya plant. They are usually hollow, so you can tie with a string and easy to make garland with them. Whoever wins some game, he or she will be awarded with this papaya stem garlands. That was some childhood fun.
Papaya contain s vitamin C , vitamin E and vitamin A (through their concentration of pro-vitamin A carotenoid phytonutrients), and the three together form a powerful antioxidant combination which helps in prevention of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. Papaya also helps to prevent colon cancer. It also contains unique protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain. These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation and to improve healing from burns. However they are also known to cause abortion. It helps in immune health as well as lung health read more about them from here and here .
Amma used to make thoran with them when they are raw. She usually would cut them into very thin pieces as she has no vegetable grater at that time. During the last grocery shopping I saw a raw papaya in the Indian store that was a half piece. So I picked it immediately and put in shopping cart. Usually I won’t buy them if they are whole and big. Because consuming a single papaya is not possible in my household. I used amma recipe for making the dish and used a vegetable grater to grate them. A grater helps to make every piece uniform and gives a nice taste and texture. Here is the recipe
Onion: ½ cup ( I used red onion, use shallots if you have)
Mustard seeds: ¾ teaspoon
Urad dal: 1 tablespoon
Salt: 2 teaspoon or to taste
Oil: 2 tablespoon ( I used olive oil)
Turmeric: ¼ teaspoon
Cumin seed powder; ½ teaspoon
Chilli powder: ½ teaspoon
Green chili: 1 no ( I used Serrano pepper)
Coconut: ½ cup ( I used desiccated coconut)
Red chilies: 2 no ( Halved into 2 pieces)
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
How I made
In a skillet heat oil and add mustard seeds, red chilies and curry leaves. Once mustard starts popping add onion and fry for 3 minutes.
To this add grated papaya, turmeric and 1 teaspoon of salt and close the skillet with lid and let it cook for about 10 minutes in slow flame. Stir in between to prevent from sticking to the bottom.
Add coconut, cumin and red chili powder and remaining salt mix everything well. Cook for another 3 minutes to get the flavors infused into the papaya. Switch off the flame .
Enjoy with hot rice and curry.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 serving
Will you make it again: yes I will
This Tasty papaya thoran is going to
Side dish show down : July; hosted by Reeni of Cinnamon and Spice.