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The BloggerAid Cookbook

Green Papaya Curry

This month, the 4 Velveteers picked an easy challenge theme: 'Fruit' as in fruits fruits not the vegetables that are technically speaking fruits (so hold off your tomatoes). To spice up the challenge, it had to be a savoury dish. If fruit salad comes to your mind immediately, strike that out - it's the forbidden dish of the game. Ha Ha! We thought of everything.

For this month's challenge, I thought of making something with pineapple or mango or jackfruit or apples. Pierre kindly suggested Pineapple Rice but I have already posted that 3 years ago and have also done a simple stir-fry Pineapple Prawns, Coriander Pork with Pineapples and Rolled Roasted Pork with Dried Fruits . On top of that, my mom has been cooking pineapple savoury dish lately so I don't think my whole family wanted to eat another pineapple dish. Now jackfruit: the taste and texture is rather special. When I was a little girl and we were still living in a kampung (village), my mom used to cook this delicious jackfruit curry often, however that practically stopped once we moved to a housing flat. The last time she cooked this dish was back in the late 80s! The other childhood dish that I fondly remembered is green papaya curry. My mom used to cook it very often too as papaya plants were aplenty in our front and back garden. Back in the old days, a childhood friend of mine used to climb up our papaya plant to pluck the fruit for me. And she was very fast & agile too. I often wondered even till this day, how she managed to do that. I think if I ever climb one, I will snap it into two! For the life of me, I can't even climb a tree least a plant to save my life.

So I asked my mom to show me how to make this dish, however for some odd reason we couldn't find any green papaya in the markets nearby. In the end, we settled for one that looks the greenest among the sea of ripe papayas. My mom learnt how to cook this Green Papaya Curry from my paternal grandmother who used to make lots of delicious nonya dishes.

Before we proceed to the recipe, here are some information about papaya:

  • It is an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C, E & A.
  • Its seeds are edible (bet you didn't know that!) and have a sharp, spicy (pepperish) taste. According to Internet sources, the seeds are sometimes grounded and used as a substitute for black pepper.
  • It has quite high amount of pectin.
  • Young leaves of papaya can be steamed and eaten like spinach.

Green papayas are usually cooked in curries, stew or eaten as salads. Choose papayas with reddish-orange skin and that are slightly soft to the touch if you are eating it on the day of purchase. A few black spots on the surface are ok as they will not affect the taste. However avoid those that are bruised or overly soft. Store ripe papayas in the refrigerator and eat it within a day or two. For those that are green with some yellow patches, leave them at room temperature and they'll ripen in a few days. To speed up the ripening process, place them in a paper bag with a banana. (yeah, really!)

Green Papaya Curry
Ingredients
  • 1 small green papaya (peeled, deseeded, sliced or julienne)
  • 400 ml coconut milk (add milk if you prefer to have more gravy)
  • 10 shallots (peeled & quartered)
  • 3 garlic (peeled & quartered)
  • a bit of dried belachan/dried shrimp paste (optional)
  • 1 lemongrass (bruised)
  • some dried shrimps (optional)
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • pepper, light soya sauce & salt (for seasoning)
Green Papaya Curry
Directions
  1. Peel, cut the papaya into half and take out the seeds. Thinly slice the papaya or cut it into julienne (thin match stick size). Set aside.
  2. Soak the dried shrimps until soften. Then pound it a bit to mash it.
  3. Blend shallots, garlic, dried shrimp paste and tumeric together in a food processor into a paste. Set aside.
  4. Heat wok with some oil until hot.
  5. Stir fry the paste with the dried shrimps and bruised lemongrass under medium heat until it changes colour (the paste will turn light brown). It'll take about 15 minutes.
  6. Add in the sliced papaya, stir to mix the paste with the papaya.
  7. Season the papaya with light soya sauce, pepper & salt.
  8. Once the papaya soften, pour in the coconut milk.
  9. Let it boil a few times until the papaya is cooked (according to your liking - al dente or well cooked). Taste and adjust seasoning of dish to your preference.
  10. Serve hot with white rice.
Green Papaya CurryGreen Papaya Curry
The Verdict

Very aromatic with the sweet-spicy pepperish taste of coconut milk gravy. The papaya slices were cooked just right - not too soft and I could still taste the slight flavour of the papaya.

Note

For a spicy taste, you can replace pepper with one or two long red or green chili (deseed). Just cook it together with the paste.

Green Papaya Curry

The 4 Velveteers

The 4 Velveteers (started by Pamela, Aparna, Asha, and Alessio) are a group of food bloggers, who are passionate about a new dish/ style of cooking/ cuisine and food in general. Each month, we will share with you our recipes, experiences & verdicts on our blogs. If you are interested in joining The 4 Velveteers! in our monthly adventure, please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment.

Do, check out what other Velveteers have created:

Alessio - Recipe Taster
Aparna - My Diverse Kitchen with her Eggless Vegetable Nut Loaf with sweet
Asha - Fork, Spoon & Knife
Ken - Hungry Rabbit NYC with his Skillet Roasted Sweet n Sour Pork
Madhuli - My Food Court with her Raw banana Cutlets & mix fruit chutney

11 comments on this post.

Over The Top Pie

Last weekend our whole family was hit by gastric flu. What a torture! It was the first time Little One got sick (poor baby) but amazingly she fought it off rather well and recovered from it very quickly. While she was on the mend, I caught the bad bug and was violently sick (I thought I had it bad). Luckily Pierre was still ok then so he could look after Little One. Then as I got over the worst, it was Pierre's turn to be sick to the gut. Unfortunately for him, the virus hit him the hardest (I have never seen him in that shade of gray). The next day, both of us were lifeless, while our little darling had her energy back and went on trashing the whole house. We have never been hit by an actual tornado, but now I have an idea of how it would look like afterwards.

I made this pie a day or two before all of us fell sick (rest assured that the two events are totally unrelated). There were some leftover old apples and over-riped bananas on the table (as usual). I didn't want to make another apple/banana pie so decided to add some pineapples in it to give it a more exotic taste. Then I thought why not a coconut crumble top - it would go very well with it. Originally I wanted to use a plain pie crust but was inspired to make a nutty pie crust for a change. All those ideas combined this over-the-top recipe :

Over The Top Pie
Ingredients

Hazelnut Pie Crust (variation over a classic sweet pie crust)

  • grounded hazelnut
  • flour, sugar, chilled butter (cubed), a bit of ice water (like a regular sweet crust)

Fillings

  • a few apples (small slices)
  • bananas (sliced)
  • pineapples (sliced)
  • dark chocolate (small pieces)
  • sugar
  • rhum (a little bit)
  • ground cinnamon (only a little bit)
  • water
  • cornstarch

Crumble

  • Sugar
  • Chilled Butter (cut into cubes)
  • plain flour
  • grated coconut
Direction

Hazelnut Pie Crust

  1. Mix grounded hazelnut, flour, sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it form crumbs or sandy.
  3. Make a small well in the middle, add a little bit of ice water. Mix the dough delicately with your hands until it forms a ball of dough. Wrap it up and refrigerate it for an hour.
  4. Roll out a clean piece of cloth on the table; sprinkle generously some flour on it.
  5. Flatten the dough slightly with your hands and dust the dough lightly with flour before rolling the dough out with a rolling pin.
  6. Roll the dough into a circle and larger than the size of your pie dish. Put your pie dish face down to the centre of dough. Put your hand underneath the cloth (centre of the dough) and gently flip the dough over.
  7. Without stretching the dough, press the pastry firmly into the pan and trim any excess dough from the edge.

Crumble

  • Combine all the ingredients together and rub the butter with your fingers into the sugar-flour mixture till it is crumbly (not as fine as sand but coarse crumbs).

Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 210°C (410°F).
  2. Spread some apple, banana and pineapple slices in unbaked pie shell. Then sprinkle some dark chocolate pieces on it. Repeat the process till all the fillings are used up.
  3. Heat up and mix water, sugar and ground cinnamon together. Once sugar is dissolved, add in a little bit of rhum and stir in corn starch till blend in. (in a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch with a bit of water - this will avoid having lumps in the mixture). Remove pan from fire and let it cool down a bit.
  4. Spread the sugary cinnamon mixture all over the fillings.
  5. Spread crumble all over the filling covering the whole pie.
  6. Bake in preheated over for 10 minutes (at 210°C / 410°F), then reduce heat to 175°C (350°F) for 35 to 40 minutes.
Over the top pieOver the top pie
The Verdict

The whole pie itself tasted not bad at all - it has a different taste at each bite : sometimes apple/banana and other times pineapple/apple or banana. I was expecting a tangy and strong pineapple taste but was rather disappointed with the weak pineapple flavour. Pierre felt that I didn't put in enough pineapple whereas I felt that I should have used fresh pineapple instead of canned ones (but I had an old can lying around).

Adding the dark chocolate wasn't a wise choice as we found out that it overwhelmed the whole taste of the pie whenever we took a bite that has chocolate in it. So it's best to omit it.

Notes

As noted above, it would have tasted better if I had used fresh pineapple and the juice of the pineapple for the syrup spread instead.

For the crumble, it would have been better to just use only grated coconut sans flour.

over the top pieOver the top pie
12 comments on this post.