One of our favourite Chinese restaurants in town serves the best raw papaya, marinated with lemon juice and sugar as a welcome starter. Since I craved Chinese food from this particular place in my pregnancy, we ended up in this place quite often. And as soon as we were comfortable in our seats, came this wonderfully marinated papaya along with honey chilli cashews.
In India, generally we do not consume Papaya during pregnancy. So this meant that I could not have it, while Ro ate a few pieces. As I looked at the Papaya tree at my parents, I craved for something made with raw papaya. And now since I’m out of a prenatal and for that matter a post natal diet, there was no stopping me.
Making this salad, made me realize the importance of simple steps which contribute a great deal to the finished preparation. I made this salad the first time without thoroughly chilling the grated papaya. Although it tasted good, it turned limp and the papaya didnt quite absorb the flavours of the dressing ingredients.
The second time I made it a point to properly chill the papaya which resulted into a crisp, flavourful and fresh tasting salad. The dressing held on to the papaya and gave a sweet, sour and slightly pungent note to the palate. This is so easy to make and quick to put together. The ingredients are few and ones that are usually available in a pantry. The soft and juicy cherry tomatoes are a perfect foil to the crunchiness of the peanuts. A Thai curry like this paired with aromatic rice would be the perfect match to this wonderfully crisp and flavourful salad.
Green Papaya Salad Recipe
1 medium sized raw papaya (2 cups), thickly grated
10 to 12 cherry tomatoes (or 1 Tomato, chopped)
70 gm (1/2 cup) peanuts, roasted and skined
2 tbsp lime juice or 3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 or 3 green chillies, chopped
Peel and grate the papaya with a grater having large holes and place in the refrigerator to chill. If you are in a hurry you can place them in the freezer, but make sure that the papaya is thoroughly chilled.
In a small bowl blend all the dressing ingredients for the salad.
Toss the tomatoes and peanuts into the chilled papaya and mix in the salad dressing.
Tastes best when served chilled.