Monday, May 17, 2010

Green Papaya Curry - Pep-er Tarkari in Bengali

Mrs. P asked me the other day how I cook green papaya at home. She had never tasted this dish before. There are many who have never cooked green papaya. The green papaya is good for health.

Green Papaya

There were many papaya trees in our house. Baba liked green papaya to be peeled and sliced in big sizes, boiled and served with rice during lunch time. The boiled papaya was mashed and served by adding few drops of mustard oil and salt. Boiled green papaya’s are good to get rid of constipation. With so many papaya trees, many were left to ripen but the naughty crows pecked the ripe papayas and made holes in them. So the work of the servant of the house was to let the bamboo ladder rest against the papaya tree, climb few rungs, reach up to the ones that were about to mature, cover with a piece of sack and tie it around it to keep it away from the wicked eyes of the crows.

I have planted some papaya trees in my home, the raw and the ripe ones my tenant is enjoying. Here in Delhi it’s really difficult to get good green papayas. But I do cook it at least once a month.

Coming back to my recipe, let me share it with all.

1 Green papaya. Peel, cut into half, discard the seeds and make small cubes. Wash and keep it.

3 medium potatoes. Peel, cut into cubes, wash and keep it

Jeera powder: ¾ tsp

Dhania powder: ¼ tsp

Haldi powder: ½ tsp

Red chili powder: ¼ tsp

Cooking oil: 1 ½ tbsp



Cooking process:

Heat oil in a kadhai. Put in the potato cubes and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the papaya cubes and cook for some time. Once the vegetables start getting the pink coating, add the spices – jeera, dhania, red chili and haldi powder. Now add little water so that the spices don’t get burnt. Add salt and sugar and cook till the oil seperates. Add very little water, sufficient to cook the potatoes and the papaya. Cook over low flame till the vegetables are cooked and the water water has completely dried. Serve with plain rice and dal. Those who prefer rotis and parathas, take a helping and enjoy the taste of the Pep-er tarkari as said in Bengali.


  1. Wow...I didn't know that green papaya can be cooked! I will surely try this at home. But why are you adding sugar Gauri?

  2. i love this curry..looks mouthwatering

  3. pepe r tarkari amar ma bhishon bhalo ranna koren..kintu ami khetam na...ei ranna dekhe ma er kotha khub mone porchhe...

  4. {epe ta dekhte garun lagche. What a pure green colour. Also the curry looks to be wonderfully tasty and healthy as well. During my younger days prior to my marriage in Haridwar we too had a large kitchen garden where we used to grow such green papayas. Your post reminded me of those days.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  5. Love green papaya dishes...thanks for sharing an authentic dish :-)

  6. p(n)epe'r tarkari ami khub bhalobasi kintu ekhane akdom paoya jayna. akhon chhele ke khaoyabo bole bari theke p(n)epe'r chara nie esechi. aar bij o. dekhi gach hay kina.
    khub lobh dilam...garam bhat e seddho kheteo khub bhalo lage amar.

  7. Never tried green papaya. Love your recipe. Gotta try it soon.

  8. What you have said is one among them that i wont cook green papaya..but ur recipe is simple and nice,...loved it...thanks for sharing...

  9. I love green papaya dishes...they are so healthy and yummy :)

  10. love green and ripe papaya's...even my dad liked papaya sabzi/ mom still make this whenever she gets green papaya in market...such a easy, healthy and delicious side dish..thanks for sharing this Gouri...

  11. lovely sabzi... my husband's favorite and made quite often at home...

  12. Madhu, adding sugar is very common in their Bengali cooking...that's how my taste bud has been adjusted:)

  13. Sarah,





    Thank you all for spending time here sharing your views and lovely comments.

  14. @SpicyTasty,



    Nice to read your comments.
    Thanks girls for being here.

  15. Suman, I don't eat the ripe ones.

    Panchpakwan, thanks.

    Somoo, thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  16. Sound good! Can I make this without the sugar? My husband does not like sugar in any veg preparation.

  17. Very much, sugar is optional. Green papaya is very healthy and it is always better not to make the curry very spicy.
    Thanks Rachna.

  18. Thank you for this recipe :) I bought green papaya and was looking for a recipe. I just cooked it and it's very very good!
    Irene from cold Canada...