Friday, June 3, 2011

Raw Papaya Delight (Papaya Ghonto)

There is a villain in almost all stories; many believe it is the villain who makes the story interesting. Well I do not know how interesting but the villain in my life sure left me frustrated and who is the villain? Well, none other than my internet service provider. Constant glitches and interruptions prevented me from regularly updating my posts; now I have changed my service provider and hope to have a trouble free blogging experience.

In one of my earlier posts Foreign Influences, I had mentioned that, thanks to foreign invasions, certain fruits and vegetables have become an integral part of our daily life. One such fruit/vegetable is the papaya. Introduced by the Portuguese,
papaya has its origins  in South America. Just like the jack fruit it’s eaten as a fruit when ripe and as a vegetable when raw.

The following recipe is a Bengali preparation, I did mention in one of my earlier posts that when my mum tires of the usual vegetables she looks for something different and raw papaya is one such vegetable, some time back she prepared the dish and I felt it should feature in this blog. I do not think I need to recount the benefits of this fruit/ vegetable. If you have been following my blog you will notice the vegetarian preparations are not very rich and absolutely free of onions and garlic which not only makes them healthy but also ideal for strict vegetarians like Jains who do not eat onions and garlic.

Before I go on to the recipe I would like to give you some tips on purchasing the right papaya. When buying the raw papaya check to see it is absolutely green and raw (see photo above);if you notice any spot on the papaya which is yellowing then do not purchase it for it is obviously beginning to ripen. You can test the papaya by pricking it, if a white liquid oozes out you can be rest assured that the papaya is raw. When you cut the papaya you will find it is absolutely white inside, even the seeds will be white unlike the ripe papaya which has black seeds as shown in the photo below.


  • 400 to 500 grams Papaya.
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
  • A pinch of turmeric powder.
  • One teaspoon ginger paste.
  • 3 teaspoons coriander and cumin mix powder.
  • A little Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • A small stick of cinnamon, 3 cloves and one or two green cardamoms.
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil of your choice.
  • Salt and sugar to taste.


  • Peel the papaya and grate it ( see photo below).
  • Heat oil in a kadhai or wok.
  • Add  cumin seeds, cloves, green cardamom and cinnamon. Alternatively you may only add the cumin seeds and dry grind the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon and add it to the dish towards the end.
  • When the seeds begin to crackle add the grated papaya. Stir well.
  • Cover and cook on a medium to low flame and wait for the papaya to release some water. If the papaya does not release water add a little salt this will help it to release water.
  • Once the papaya releases water add the ginger paste, turmeric powder,red chilli powder, coriander and cumin mix powder and salt to taste. If you have added salt at the beginning then take care to just add enough to suit your taste.
  • You may add a little sugar, West Bengalis however like this dish a little sweet but you add it according to your taste.
  • Stir and cook till the spices have blended, if necessary add a little water. Take care not to add too much water for this is a dry preparation.
  • If you did not add the whole garam masala at the beginning then add the powdered garam masala at this stage just before switching off flame. Stir well after adding the powdered garam masala.
  • You may also garnish  with grated coconut.


  1. Ghonto ta dekhe khete ichha korchhe...

  2. sounds interesting and new to me...
    looks healthy and delicious dear :)

  3. Liebe Shilpi,

    danke für deine Kommentare für meine letzte Post. :)

    Papaya Ghosh sieht sehr lecker aus. Ich habe raw Papaya nie gegessen. Du zeigst uns sehr interesante Essen aus Bengali Küche. Mach mal genauso weiter!! :-)

    Liebe Grüße!!

  4. New preparation for me looks delicious.

  5. Mmmm. Sounds delicious. I have seen raw papaya being used in marinades, or as the basis for a Thai salad, but never cooked this way.

  6. @dustedoff:Yes it is usually used as meat tenderizer, but believe this one tastes very nice.

  7. Lovely paper ghonto...thanks for posting all the delicious delicacies of Bengali cuisine!

  8. Oh, awesome Bengali food. So happy to meet another Bengali on blogosphere!

  9. That looks delicious Shilpi! please do visit my blog when you have a moment and follow back :) thank you dear :)))

  10. thanks for dropping by Shilpi, though I am not a fan of papaya, but this prep is looking so good, will def try it.
    tomar blog ta khub yummy, darun


  11. Yum, wow, lovely flavors in there. Looks delicious :)
    US Masala

  12. Woww.. this is a completely new recipe.. I have to try this out :D

  13. Very creative recipe!

    Happy to follow you........

    Drop into my space when time permits:

  14. Hi dear first time here and loved the papaya ghonto. I love the raw papaya salad anytime and now I look fwd to try this version too. Following u now.

  15. I feel slightly better... with this one.. I think I could try making this.. :-)

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