Friday, January 29, 2016

Green Papaya Pachodi Salad

Green Papaya or raw papaya(Popashphal in Konkani) is considered as a vegetable rather than a fruit, and is widely used in cooking. It is full of medicinal properties. Having high concentration of Papain, an enzyme that tenderises even the toughest meat, raw papaya paste is used as one of the ingredients for marinating mutton, mostly for making kebabs. We GSBs either prepare a stir fried curry adding garlic called talaasani or we add that along with Malabar spinach to make 'Vaali Popashphala Aambat.

However, when papaya plant becomes heavily loaded with raw papayas and suddenly starts leaning, we have to think about other alternatives. We got 4 medium size raw papayas from our friend Uma Shenoi's garden last week. I made some halwa, some cake and also some salad with them. I had seen recipes online to make 'Som Tam', a Thai salad, but one of the ingredients being fish sauce is a big no for me. So I decided to make salad with raw papaya somewhat like the Aambuli Pachodi or raw mango spicy salad found mostly during summer in Car Street Mangaluru.

This pachodi is a very simple salad made by mixing red chilli powder, salt, asafotoeda and coconut oil with chopped raw mango bits. It is relished as it is, with plain rice and curd, or with congi. The pachodi salad I made has a twist, adding capsicum, tomato and roasted peanuts, if not lemon squeeze. The masala powder I used to make this has many spices like red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, asafotoeda and turmeric powder. It is the same masala powder made for the exotic Aambuli Chutney)Spicy Raw Mango Chutney exclusively made in our family.

My idea was to blend our traditional masala with the similar ingredients that go into making the Thai salad while adding coconut oil for the authentic coastal Mangalorean touch. Added roasted peanuts appear occasionally and add to the crunchiness as you take bites. Raw papaya is tougher than cucumber or raw mango, and it needs either parboiling or should be lightly pounded in a mortar before mixing into the salad. Make this salad and instantly serve as a side dish with rice and daal, roti and curry or just savour with choice of fried fish or kebabs. It is tasty and full of flavours. Uma Shenoi gave a high five, and she ate it straight. She said, nothing can beat Mangalorean GSB style Som Tam from my kitchen!
Raw Papaya - 300 Gms peeled and cut into julienne
Tomato - 1 medium cut into julienne
Capsicum - 1/2 medium cut into julienne
Roasted Peanuts - 2 Tbsp peeled and halved
Aambuli Chutney Masala - 2 Tsp
Salt - 1/3 Tsp(or to taste)
Sugar - 1/2 Tsp(Optional)
Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp
Lemon Squeeze - 1/2 lemon
Coriander Leaves - 1 Tbsp chopped

Soak the papaye julienne in ice cold water for 1 hour.
Drain and pound lightly in a mortar and keep aside.
Alternatively, blanch them for 10 mins in hot water, drain and keep aside.
Mix the papaya with other ingredients, check for salt and serve immediately.

Aambuli Chutney Masala Powder:

Aambuli Chutney Masala Powder is a versatile masala powder that can be used to make spicy chutney with raw mango, star fruit or bilimbi. It can also be used to make seafood preparations like fish tawa fried, chicken pulimunchi and Prawn Achari.

1. Red long chillies - 12
2. Red short chillies - 16
3. Coriander seeds - 3 tsp
4. Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
5. Cumin seeds  - 2 tsp
6. Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
7. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
8. Asafotoeda - 5 gms
9. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
10. Oil - 1 Tsp

Roast the ingredients 1 through 8 with little oil separately and keep aside to cool.
Powder in a blender along with turmeric powder.
Store in an airtight jar.
1. Do not chill this salad in a fridge because coconut oil tends to solidify and loses its flavour.
2. You can also make this salad by just adding red chilli powder if you can't make Aambuli Chutney Masala Powder.
3. You can also add 1 Tsp tamarind extract instead of lemon squeeze.

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