Hello Orange Season, welcome back! I have been seeing orange lately, not in a bad way of course, no I am talking about the change of seasons and the time when orange colored vegetables and fruits appear more frequently in the market. It might be Europe, the Americas or India, every september you ‘ll notice more warmer colored produce. While the old wives summer (also known as Indian Summer), autumn and even Halloween approach closer in some parts of the world, while a “few” of us in the Indian subcontinent quietly experience the last rains. This time of the year in Goa always promises fresh pumpkins, massive orange cucumbers, cantaloups and Papayas. Since I prefer to use fresh produce I thought it was the right time to share a great fruity sauce, a sweet and sour papaya dip.
Papaya is quite a weird fruit in some ways don’t you think? It’s not really sweet and a bit tasteless, also the texture can be odd for somebody who has never had much a chance to try the fruit. The first time I came across a papaya was in the Caribbeans on our family trip back in 1998. At the time Papaya was considered quite an exotic fruit in central Europe, it was practically not available. So when my parents bought a ripe orange papaya in a charming market on the island Guadeloupe, cut open and gave us to try, I was disappointed. Honestly, I didn’t like the flavor and I am still not much a fan.
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Yet we have Papaya trees producing fruits at times and then of course I keep the health benefits in mind, so I do eat papaya. Therefore I needed to come up with some recipes to use the fruit properly! My first thought was a sauce and I chose to add in some fresh lemon juice. I had some freshly made Ginger Garlic Paste waiting to be used too so I thought it would go well with the mashed papaya. I was right! Then I decided to keep it a bit sweet as well and added some Jaggery (cane sugar). All this with a dash of Salt and Pepper, sounds good right?
The sauce was originally served with baked spiced potato wedges when I got the idea of serving it with spicy baked chicken legs. They were meant to be together! If you keep the sauce cold before enjoying it with the chicken, it takes some of the chili heat and compliments the coconut flavors in the chicken. Yet I noticed that by keeping it cold the papaya turns a bit jelly and less liquid, so because of that you might choose to enjoy the sweet and sour papaya dip in room temperature, although we didn’t care about the jelly consistency and just dug in.
- 160 grams Papaya
- ½ Tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste or blend 1 medium sized Garlic and ½ inch fresh Ginger
- Juice of 1½ Lemon
- 1 Tablespoon Jaggery (Sugar Cane Sugar) or Honey
- Pinch Salt
- Pinch Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons of Water
- Half or quarter your Papaya depending of it's size, discard the seeds and fine whitish skin and cut off the Papaya peel. Cut the fruit into small chunks. We need about 160 gram of the fruit, use the rest of the Papaya for something else.
- Add the papaya to a mixer jar and add the rest of the ingredients as well (Ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, jaggery, salt and pepper, water). Blend to a smooth paste.
- Store in a cool and dry place or serve with baked chicken or fries.
What has been your experience with Papaya? Do you like the fruit or rather not?