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
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.