Everyone knows about the health benefits of papaya and enjoy eating it. But did you know that raw papaya is equally healthy if not, more? It is rich in nutrients and enzymes which boosts one’s digestion and improves the quality of the skin. It is a great cleanser and makes for a great addition to those morning smoothies. Bengalis and Oriyas make a lot of curries and sabzis using Raw Papaya and this recipe is inspired by a recipe I tasted at a Bengali friend’s house. This raw green papaya kofta curry (Kancha Peper Kofta curry) is so flavorful and tastes equally good with both rotis and rice.

Raw Papaya
Raw Papaya

I get raw papaya from time to time and relish it as a stuffing in my parathas, make my favorite Raw Papaya Thai Salad – Som Tam, and even this Kofta curry. This kofta curry is very similar in preparation to the Lauki ke Kofte (Bottle Gourd Koftas) and is healthier and guilt-free.

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 4-5
DIFFICULTY SCALE: Medium

INGREDIENTS: 

For the Raw Papaya Koftas –
  1. Raw Papaya – 1/2, medium size
  2. Water – 2 cups
  3. Chickpea flour/Besan – 2-3 tablespoons
  4. Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  5. Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  6. Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Vegetable oil – 1-2 tablespoons
  8. Salt – to taste
For the Kofta curry –

9. Onion – 1, large
10. Tomatoes – 4, medium
11. Ginger -1 small piece
12. Garlic – 2-3 pods
13. Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
14. Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
15. Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
16. Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves) – 1/2 teaspoon
17. Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
18. Garam masala – a pinch
19. Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
20.  Salt – to taste

UTENSILS/EQUIPMENT:

  1. Grater
  2. Appa pan
  3. Pan
  4. Kadhai
  5. Grinder

RECIPE:

For the Raw Papaya Koftas –
  1. Peel and grate the raw papaya. Remember to remove the seeds and a little bit of the white skin of the inside of the papaya as well, fore grating.
  2. Boil two cups of water in a pan and allow it to boil.
  3. Once the water is hot, add the grated papaya and let them simmer for about 8-10 minutes until they get tender. Stir every 2-3 minutes.
  4. Drain the raw papaya using a sieve but save that boiled water. We will use this water in the curry as it is full of flavor and nutrients.
  5. After it cools down a bit and gets at working temperature, squeeze the grated raw papaya a bit more to remove excess water. Save this water though.
  6. Now add besan, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and salt into the cooked raw papaya and mix well.
  7. Take an appe pan and place it on medium heat, add a little oil.
  8. Make small balls of the mix to make koftas and place them on the appe pan. Cook them on one side for about 2 minutes and flip them and cook them well on the other side as well.
Make small koftas and add them to an appe pan
Make small koftas and add them to an appe pan

If you don’t have an appe pan, you can deep fry them too. I avoid deep frying so that I can have koftas guilt-free at any time. 🙂

For the Kofta Curry –

9. Add oil in a kadhai and heat it until it gets hot.
10. Finely chop an onion. Add cumin seeds to the oil and once they crackle, add in the finely chopped onion slices.
11. Cook the onion slices until they caramelize and turn brown.
12. While the onions are cooking, add tomatoes, peeled ginger, and garlic in a grinder and blend into a smooth paste.
13. Add this paste to the kadhai, once the onions are properly cooked.

Cook the tomato-garlic-ginger puree
Cook the tomato-garlic-ginger puree

14. Add in the turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt and mix well.
15. Cook the tomatoes until the moisture is gone and oil starts separating from the corner.
16. Add the water saved from boiling the koftas and allow it to boil. Add a little more water if needed.
17. Add the koftas and let the curry simmer for 5-7 minutes so that the koftas can soak all the flavors of the curry.

Dunk the green papaya koftas into the curry and simmer
Dunk the green papaya koftas into the curry and simmer

18. Add a pinch of garam masala and a little Kasuri Methi leaves and turn off the curry.

Serve the Green Papaya Kofta curry (Kancha Peper Kofta curry) with hot rotis or boiled rice.

Green Papaya Kofta curry with hot rotis, Moong dal and raita
Green Papaya Kofta curry (Kancha Peper Kofta curry) with hot rotis, Moong dal and raita