Raw papaya kootu

I have never been someone who consciously looks at the prices of veggies and fruits. That is mainly because mil & fil are the ones to take care of buying our groceries and of course mom & dad took care of it in my pre-married times. However, for the last few months I have been taking a conscious effort to go out & shop for the veggies & fruits that I want to consume during the week since I would like to “mix it up”. Mil/ fil typically buy only stuff that’s native to us and I don’t fit in that circle for sure. With me making weekly grocery trips, its only natural for me to start noticing prices, country of produce. Again quoting Rujuta Diwekar which is also what mil says.. buy what’s local & buy what’s in season. When you apply these 2 rules, what you buy typically ends up not buring holes in your pocket & the produce is also good. When you buy veggies off season, they tend not to taste its best. So imagine my happiness when I saw this really good looking raw papaya which came from India (not local exactly considering I live in Dubai but local enough for my heart :)), was firm and not at all expensive (best season for papaya is early summers). Immediately picked it up without thinking what could be made with the dish :). Mil was excited to see the raw papaya too & she said we could make some kootu which tastes absolutely delish. Mil got even more excited when she cut the papaya open since quite literally milk oozed out of it (signifies one exemplary piece apparently). The papaya was succulent & the kootu turned out fantabulous. I am now tempted to buy another raw papaya just to repeat this dish :D.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
  • 1 small raw/ green papaya 2.5 cups when chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 3/4 tsp rock salt
  • few curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup cooked moong dal
  • a handful coriander leaves for garnish
To grind
  • 1/4 heaped cup coconut pieces
  • 3-4 small dried red chillies we used 1.5tsp curry powder instead
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • a pinch asafoetida
  • 1/8 cup water
For tempering/ tadka
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp halved urad dal/ black gram
  1. Peel the skin of the raw papaya & chop it into cubes.

  2. Heat a kadai/ pan and place the papaya along with 1/2t cumin seeds, 1/4t turmeric powder, 1/8t asafoetida, 3/4t rock salt & 1/2c water.

  3. Close with a lid & let the veggies cook.

  4. Meanwhile grind together coconut pieces, 1/2t cumin seeds, 3-4 dried red chillies, a pinch asafoetida along with 1/8c water into a smooth paste.

  5. Once the veggie is cooked (to be checked similar to pumpkin), add the ground paste along with cooked moong dal. Add some extra water to get the desired consistency.

  6. Let the mixture come to a boil (check & adjust for salt here).

  7. Meanwhile, prepare the tempering/ tadka with 1t coconut oil, 3/4t mustard seeds & 1/2t cumin seeds.

  8. Once the kootu boils/ bubbles up, add the tempering/ tadka as well as fresh coriander leaves.

  9. Turn off the heat.

  10. Serve hot with some rice & pickle.

Recipe Notes
  1. We used 1.5t curry powder instead of 3-4 dried red chillies.
  2. We used 1/4c + 3tbsp of moong dal and pressure cooked it with some water for 4-5 whistles with a pinch turmeric powder. 

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