Priya Sreram introduces herself to Honest Cooking with a lovely Papaya Halwa.
By Priya Sreram
This week has started on some chirpy notes and I am beaming. And the icing on the cake – a nod from the team of Honest Cooking to be part of their Contributors and yours truly is thoroughly delighted – do I need any more reason to indulge my sweet tooth? A recent posession of the treasured Recipe diary belonging to my mother-in-law was the perfect source for me to get my hearth afire – the diary itself is quite frayed, edges torn and yellowed, but holds a lot of gems – many traditional, a few borrowed, some tried and tasted but all-in-all an awesome array of dishes.
Papaya Halwa from the recipe trove caught my eye and rightly so. My love for papaya is unparalleled; this luscious fruit a power house of vitamins is completely power-packed with nutrition. Including papaya has whole lot of documented medicinal effects ranging from reducing the risk of heart diseases to protection from cancer and also aiding digestion and promoting lung health. Do you know that even the seeds of papaya are edible and can be used in salads? Since they have a slightly peppery and bitter taste, they can also be ground and used as a substitute for black pepper powder.
Phew – I can go on and on about these yum fruits. So when I saw a recipe of halwa with papaya, I had to make it. It was like the best of both worlds – Papaya in a sweet and dense preparation as halwa with chickpea flour and ghee also had the kids and hubby thoroughly hooked. What gave the sweet dish an additional oomph factor was the blend of cinnamon,edible camphor and a wee bit of salt – I tweaked the original recipe to add these 3 ingredients and it was one happy medley.
- Papaya Pulp – 2 cups (200 grams)
- Sugar – 2 cups (400 grams)
- Ghee – 4 to 5 tbsp
- Chickpea Flour/Besan – 1 cup (100 grams)
- Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
- Edible Camphor – a pinch
- Salt – 1/4 th of a pinch
- Cardamom Powder – 3 to 4 pods (powdered)
- Cashewnuts – a fistful
How: Cut the papaya in to chunks and have it pulped to a fine puree.
In a thick bottomed pan, add the papaya pulp and sugar and mix well.
On a low flame, let the mix cook for some time. Add cinnamon powder, edible camphor and very little salt to it and bring it to a boil. Lower the flame and add the chickpea flour and thorughly mix it till there are no lumps.
Let it simmer, while stirring continuously.
In the meanwhile in a separate pan , heat the ghee and roast the cashewnuts till golden brown. Add this to the flour-papaya mix and let the mix cook till it thickens and gets the desired halwa like consistency.
Enjoy the lip smacking halwa!
Priya is an enthusiastic foodie who loves to experiment with different types of cuisine. She chronicles her heart and hearth adventures on the blog Bon Appetit, which has recipes ranging from simple to exotic.