Friday, December 29, 2017

Papaya - Some like it Hot and Some Not

When I was a child in Bengaluru, we stayed in a rented bungalow in First Block, Jayanagar. How it must have changed now! Anyway, the house had a large garden at the back with many fruit trees. Of these, perhaps only the papaya graced us with fruit for that is all I recall - richer in colour than we now see and ever so sweet. Later this fruit became synonymous with boring, tasteless and worse.
By Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen (List of Koehler Images) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
However, one persisted, occasionally, given the much touted health benefits. And I find that they have begun to taste better of late - many salutes to our scientists who are forever studying things to discover and improve them.

Now, the thing is that whenever I buy a papaya, it is very rarely ready to eat. One then covers it in newspaper which apparently helps it ripen. However, if it ripens it also spoils by that time. Or a bit is ripe and the rest semi-ripe.

And, finally, even the best of papayas manages to fester in the fridge given our small appetites. It is thus that I regularly surf the Net for recipes to cope with a large amount of papaya, ripe or semi ripe.
Some years back I thus made a fabulous papaya ice cream but,alas, don’t seem to find that recipe anymore.

However, here’s a recipe for Papaya Ice cream that should be as good. Though it’s for mangoes, the blogger claims that papaya can be used instead. Basically you blend the papaya, boil some milk and sugar and add stuff like cornflour to thicken the milk. Everything is then mixed together and frozen. Here's another simple recipe

There are many other recipes but most use exotic ingredients and stuff like condensed milk.

However, I’ve mostly ended up making something that lies somewhere between a barfi and a halwa and it’s always super yum. There's also a Raw Papaya Halwa but it's a bit scary to use raw papaya. It can cause painful stomach cramps and is certainly best not given to pregnant women as it can lead to a miscarriage. 

Caution apart, there are many dishes that use raw papaya and the Thai salad is a great one. There are some good dishes down South, too, for the raw fruit: Papaya Pulissery.

CREME DE PAPAYA is a recipe that I’d love to make someday.

I'm probably just going to blend some papaya and some ice cream and see what that tastes like!

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