Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Grated Kaancha Pepe'r Tarkari -- grated raw papaya


Fifteen years ago if a tarot card reader had told me that fifteen years later I would not only be cooking and eating raw papaya with a smile on my lips but also forcing others to do so, I would have balked. I would have have also "pooh-poohed" away the whole idea and not paid the tarot card reader in full.

Ten years back if my daily horoscope in TOI predicted "raw papaya eating days in the near future", I would have stopped reading it then and there. Wouldn't have waited five more years. To stop reading TOI I mean.

Five years back when my Ma said I should buy raw papaya once a week and ripened papaya twice a week, I ho-hummed. "Okay, what the heck. We can do this once in a while," I told myself.

I still do it once-in-a-while. Do not have the devotion towards it like my Ma. But maybe soon. Five more years to go and we will see.

I really do not understand the Bong's uncanny diligence towards random health food items like beler paana, kaanchakolar jhol(raw plantain curry), kaancha peper tarkari(raw green papaya sabzi) and chirotar jol( a drink so bitter that it will scald your soul and detox you like no other). Either it is karma or it is evenings spent eating out egg-chicken roll, tamarind water phuchka, engine oil deep fried telebhaja and heavy on ghee(or is it dalda) biriyani. Of course too much of the latter needs to be balanced out with at least some of the former.

The bowel, and that too the Bong bowel, not to be confused with Bong baul, can take only so much.

But poor me does not eat too much of the roll and phuchka these days, and I don't have many fond memories of kaancha pepe to share. I was one of those kids who would suffer through chicken pox, mumps, measles, jaundice and typhoid in an entire school year and the jaundice only made sure that I had my fill of mulo seddho(boiled radish) and pepe seddho(raw papaya boiled) at an early age. Too much of anything good is bad for you and so there went my papaya devotion at an early age.

But this grated raw papaya sabzi is very different from the usual raw papaya curry.It elevates "pe(n)pe" to a different status. This "pe(n)pe" is fit for high heels and bejeweled chiffon. Maybe Nigella (Lawson) eats it on Saturdays. I am not sure but who knows. Not that it is better than a kosha mangsho but it is better for you.

The recipe for this grated kaancha peper tarkari is sourced from my Ma. Also my friend's Mom makes a similar dish. It is a simple dish but what with the papaya being grated and the addition of coconut makes it really good. And when I say "Papaya is good" you have to believe me. If you still have doubts go ahead and add some shrimp. It can only get better from here.

Grate half of a medium sized raw papaya in a grater.

Heat Mustard Oil

Temper the hot oil with Kalonji and slit green chillies.

Follow with a clove of garlic finely minced and quarter of an onion thinly sliced. Saute till onion becomes soft.

Next add the grated papaya. Sprinkle some turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and mix well.

Add 4-5 more slit green chilli and saute at medium heat. Cover and cook until papaya is almost done.

Add sugar to taste and some grated coconut. I used frozen grated coconut. Mix well and cook till everything is done. Taste and adjust for seasonings. Serve with rice.

For the shrimp option, saute some small shrimp with salt and turmeric and at the last stage mix with the papaya sabzi.

46 comments:

  1. Amader ke oi kaancha pepe kete je juice ta beroto oita chini diye ek chamoch kore khete hoto. Dadu nije supervise korten ... bibhishika. Eta te oi kalo chola o deya hoye na?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ota khaini mone hoy. Chola ? Hmmm good idea

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  2. I make something with grated papaya too. The recipe is very different but tastes awesome. That's the only way I eat cooked raw papaya. I'll try your recipe. It's very new to me.

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    Replies
    1. I think the traditional recipe does not use garlic or onion. These days I have taken a liking for even peper dalna !!

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    2. I make my Shahsuri's pnepe recipe with mulo. I do the exact same thing with pepe. The only difference is, I add tiny shripms and no bori. But I think with bori it will taste good as well.The recipe is here.
      https://spicesandpisces.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/an-ode-to-the-hindu-widows-with-mulo-chnechkistir-fried-grated-radish/

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    3. Yes, a lot of people in FB suggested the grated mulo option. I think I will do that next. I love the shrimp version a little more for obvious reasons :)

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  3. My mom makes this on weekends and I just love it!
    I can eat a full plate of rice with this... Pepe r chechki is what its called!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the name Sudarshna. Will update the post. And you are right about no onion, no garlic. My Ma adds the coconut though

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  4. but what my Mom makes is slightly different.. It has Mustard seeds, tej pata (bay leaf), dried red chilli as foron and no garlic/onion/coconut.

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    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear sandeepa
    Awesome ...Never tried with garlic and onion . Raw papaya , is one of the few veges i relish , in fact cooking one dalna now with potato.
    This recipe will give a respite to me from the ghanto we make. I am going to give a surprise to your boudi with this recipe.

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    Replies
    1. yeah I think traditional one does not have garlic/onion but I like it. Love it more with chingri :)

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  7. OMG 5:26 AM and I'm laughing out loud at Bengali bowels and vowels. I rarely find papaya but maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

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    Replies
    1. Our Indian store always has raw papaya. I think people in Nj are rather fond of it ;-)

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  8. Sandeepa: Shotti..boyosh er sathe sathe koto change hoi amra, tai na?
    I have the same feeling...1- years back never thought even I would cook jhinge/pepe/mulo with so much interest(infact even more) as I would chicken, egg or lamb!
    Lovely recipe....should work good with radish as well...right?

    cheers,
    d

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha ha...ekhon kintu bhalo o laage khete oi gulo. Mulo diye hoy bollo ekjon FB te, mulo te ektu kashundi ba shorshe diyeo dekhte paro

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  9. Gosh you are funny!
    Love papaya in all forms,ripe,unripe. I make a few curries with raw papaya,your grated one is similar to one I make too. It is yum indeed and healthy to boot. Rice ,yogurt and pickle with this is heaven ,or hot rice ghee and papaya made your way....Right, I am off to look for a papaya.....

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    Replies
    1. You would have been my Mother's pet.

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  10. Only today I left a comment on spicesandpisces that these are vegetables that I used to hate eating when I was a child! Now I simply long to have them - lau, pepe, mulo, ucche etc. This sounds a bit diff - with the garlic being added - not traditionally 'niramish', plus the grated coconut!

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    Replies
    1. yes, the trad one does not have garlic-onion but the coconut IS part of the traditional recipe

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  11. Amazing read yet again! Needed a tip.....planning to carry ground dry postho, shorshe to the US for my daughter at Fuqwa who so misses 'mayer hather ranna'(Sushmita Sen in her interview after she won the crown)
    ,hoping to add green chillies from the Indian store there....am I going the right way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I am not sure about carrying posto bit. I never carry posto across countries. We get that in US in plenty too. Ask your daughter to buy a coffee grinder for dry grinding spices. Posto gets ground very well in there.
      And hope she gets her fill of your cooking while you are visiting:)

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  12. Sandeepa,
    have been a silent but avid reader of ur blog.always have enjoyed ur recipes and writing immensely.i come back here often to check even well known recipes.Like today,I came to check the recipe of prawn malaikari once more.but,voila!the recipe is no more there in ur blog as it ll b there on ur book!?that's a bit disappointing :( i will buy ur book anyway to enjoy ur writing but i am disappointed by the fact that i cant just click ur blog anymore for all the recipes...it feels a bit like a dear friend of urs is suddenly famous and u don't have an easy claim on her anymore!

    Baisakhi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will have the recipes back eventually. Don't worry. For a few months I have to have them off. In dire situations drop me an e-mail and I will send you the entire post with recipe.
      Thanks :)

      Delete
    2. Baisakhi

      Your reply got deleted in error I think but I saw it. Thanks :) I am a blogger first and author second and you will always have your claim :) This space will remain same always

      Delete
  13. I think it's time for me to try kachha papita now....We do get papita as fruit on regular basis but never eaten raw papita, actually did ate it once at somebody's house in gujrat but it was some sort of salad....I'm gonna stick with your version of papaya with garlic & onion (c i'm Punjabi :) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there is a North Indian style raw papaya sabzi which I like too these days

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  14. We had papaya platns few at home in the garden and we always had raw /cooked papaya dishes for lunch and i LOVE them. I love the way you have made them too .Even back a thome mom sometimes made with the prawns combination which was super yummy .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, we had too !!! More reasons for my Mother to make those papya dishes:)

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  15. Why pe(n)pe - and halfway through the post? Am I missing a joke? Is it a nasal pronunciation?

    I'm tired of the fruit and I don't get the raw version. Moreoever, the papayas we get nowadays are rugby-ball-sized, so I've been buying it only rarely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. halfway through the post I remembered it does have a nasal pronunciation in Bengali !!!!

      why don't you get raw version ? Indian store here has it all through the year

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    2. it's available only in some localities

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  16. Made this for lunch today and was truly delicious.

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    Replies
    1. Have I said this before ? You would be my Mother's pet. Serious

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  17. Even I never tried this unique combination. I only had kacha pepe as boiled form. Would surely try this one out soon.
    Deepa

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  18. We get the raw papaya here but never bought it. Quiet a new recipe for me.

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    Replies
    1. Cham, we Bengalis eat raw papaya a lot.Personally I am not fond of it. But it is supposed to be healthy so I try to get it at least once a month and put it in dal or chicken stew kind of stuff.
      This version tastes good though

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  20. Share your ambivalence towards papaya... I gave my mother untold grief- no force in this world could make me eat papaya in any form! And to be now told by doctors that I should "concentrate" on papaya, lauki and their ilk is really a downer! Another dish in the repertoire to break the monotony! :) What would I do without the variety your blog offers! I usually do a very simple zeera-maybe tomato-maybe ginger-maybe green chilli version with cubed papaya. Works well with the gourds and turnips too... Simple stuff really...
    Thanks!

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  21. Sandeepa,

    This brought back so many memories...sadly not all of them so good...when due to stomach woes in my childhood penpe shiddho , alu shiddho and kach kala shiddho was my daily diet :( . The simple sight of papaya and the smell of raw papaya brings back those memories. Nevertheless, loved reading your write up and now staying away from my parents i even crave the light kalo jeere penper jhol in summer...strange how times change.

    Regards,
    B

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  22. Such a different recipe and sure going to try.

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  23. Sandeepa,
    This recipe is a keeper!! I tried it yesterday and my husband and son would not beleieve that in reality it was the humble papaya.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.. and as usual your write up rocks!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Priyanka. So glad you guys liked it :)

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  24. Sometimes, you give me the loveliest reminders - I've always loved this torkari, but haven't made it for the longest time. Ma used to fry bori and crumble them on top when she made this.

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  25. I have tasted various varieties of papaya except this one as my mom used to make lots of new recipes of papaya to make her children in good health. I made this one today and I loved it. There is no pungent smell after it is cooked and it tastes really very good. Thank you so much

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  26. I have tasted several recipes of papaya except this one as my mom used to make lots of new recipe of this particular vegetable to keep her children in good health. I made this one today and I must say that I loved it. There is no pungent smell left after it is cooked. Hardly anyone can guess the vegetable after it is cooked until you say. Thank you so much.

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