A lot of things have changed with the new entrant. Whereas earlier no recipe seemed too hard or too long, now my mind first scans the preparation and cooking time for each recipe. If the process is too long, its ok. I can start the work, take a break, continue, take a break.....But if it requires too much concentration, forget it. So I lean towards the familiar recipes. Suddenly rice doesn't seem so bad with the rice cooker doing the work(surprisingly for a mallu, I prefer chapathi), and the curry and accompaniments then should something that you can make with your eyes closed.Just kidding...
You have to start blogging somewhere, right? So let me start with one of my favorite curries..papaya curry. Very common in our households back in Kerala. I remember having a lot of this at my relatives, grandma's and now my parents houses. Probably because almost every house there has a Papaya tree just as they have Coconut trees. As kids, we used to eat semi ripe papaya spiced up with tamarind, red chili powder, sugar and salt...a kind of a papaya salsa. Very potent on the weak stomachs.
Last month, I spent $5 (or was it $7?) to get a green papaya at the farmer's market, much to my parent's amusement who immediately converted it into rupees and started relating stories of them having to give away papayas back home and concluded that I have no sense.
Well at least this time, it wasn't half rotten as is most times that I get it at the market. Nothing is more expensive than nostalgic foods! (This curry was made by my mom at my request and I am just posting it now.)
My fellow blogger friend Bharathy has kindly given me these awesome papaya tree photos to add to the post..Thanks a lot!
You will need:
1/2 Green (Raw) Papaya
Green Chilies-5 slit vertically
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder-1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Coconut-1/2 cup grated
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Curry leaves- a sprig
Scrape away the skin of the papaya, remove seeds and wash thoroughly.Cut the papaya into small pieces. Cook it in 2 cups water (double the quantity of cut papaya)with the green chilies, salt, turmeric and red chili powder at medium heat. Adjust the turmeric and red chili powder as needed to get the required color and spice level.
In about 10 minutes, the papaya would be soft and it turns transparent when it is cooked. Grind the grated coconut with 2 tablespoon water to a very fine paste. Lower the heat, add the ground coconut and let it come to an almost boil. Remove from the stove top.
Seasoning: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan. After a minute, lower the heat and add the mustard seeds and cover till it finishes spluttering. Now add the curry leaves and when it is fried, pour the seasoning over the curry.