Aside from the fact that Papaya tastes great, it has health benefits reaching from the cardiovascular system to the digestive system.
Text And Photo By Nagalakshmi Viswanathan
I don’t know how easy it is to get raw papayas where you live but I would say that its worth the trouble even if you need to go an extra mile to get it. Eating raw papaya in any form with a meal aids digestion and prevents bloating. I know, not very flattering conditions to talk about but if this humble little fruit here wants to help, why not let it?
In tropical Kerala, I grew up eating this fruit in all forms. The limited space in the backyard never prevented my mom from growing papaya trees that are so slender that they take up hardly any space. They would grow lean and average height and start producing these heavy fruits that can be picked starting from then they are raw or left to ripen fully. Although ripe papayas are not everyone’s favorite, I would never forget the joy with which my dad can polish off an entire bowl full of them.
I am tempted to believe that’s why he is this healthy even at 70.
- 1 medium-sized raw papaya
- A generous pinch of turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp (coconut) oil
- ¼ tsp mustard seeds
- 6 shallots, crushed
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- 3 dry red chillies, broken into halves
- A few curry leaves
- Peel the papaya and cut into thin pieces. Boil in sufficient water along with turmeric and salt until the pieces are soft. Ideally, add about 1 cup water and add more if needed. This is better than having to drain excess water.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add all ingredients listed below oil. When the mustard seeds begin to pop and the shallots and garlic give out a nice flavour, add the cooked papaya. Stir-fry for another 5-6 mins and remove from fire.
Enjoy warm with steamed white rice and any curry of your choice.