Raw Papaya Curry | Kapalangya Moru Curry From Diva Green

Why juice and smoothie papayas when you can curry them? I like using nouns as verbs now.
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This one’s also from Ritu Dalmia’s Diva Green, which is fast finding a place in my heart and on my shelf as “favourite cookbook.” The mix of recipes is great- from Indian to Italian and Asian- and I feel you can please any palate with the recipes in this book. And there are enough dessert recipes in there too ūüėÄ

Papaya curry is not new to me- my grandmom has been making ¬†the same thing for years now. Kapalangya moru curry… but for the uninitiated, it shall be called raw papaya curry. This recipe comes from Ritu Dalmia’s friend Prima Kurian, who is a home caterer. When it comes to food from home, I usually just call my mother, grandmother or mother in law and ask them how to prepare it- I don’t usually read a recipe. But with this one, I¬†followed it to the T, just to see how it would differ from the versions I’d been making so far.

Turns out, with the addition of¬†2 ingredients,¬†the curry transformed.¬†It hadn’t struck me before, but the version my grandmother makes is¬†saatvik: without garlic /onions in the body and tempering. Not that we follow a saatvik diet, I guess it’s just how¬†she preferred it.

But¬†the garlic and¬†tempered shallots add a lovely pungency¬†to the curry- something I missed from my grandmom’s no onions, no garlic version. It’s amazing how 2 gloves of garlic can transform a dish! (The only change I made was to use only coconut oil for the temper, as opposed to coconut oil + vegetable oil.)

RAW PAPAYA CURRY (Kapalangya Moru Curry) from Diva Green

For The Curry

  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 cup¬†raw papaya, skinned with seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt
  • Salt to taste

The Tempering

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (jeera)¬†
  • 2-3 tablespoons sliced shallots
  • A handful of curry leaves

METHOD

  • In a blender, make a fine paste of the grated¬†coconut, garlic, turmeric and green chillies. Add a few spoons of water if you need to.
  • Add the paste to the yogurt and whisk so everything is well combined.
  • Steam the papaya or cook it in water till tender but firm.
  • Add the papaya to the yogurt mix and cook this over low¬†heat for 10 minutes, till the papaya is cooked through, stirring continuously so the curry¬†doesn’t curdle. Pull off heat.
  • In a small frying pan, heat the coconut oil. Add the dry red chillies, the mustard, fenugreek, cumin, sliced shallots and curry leaves and allow everything to sputter.
  • Pour this temper over the curry and serve.
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Paneer Butter Masala: Classic.

I’ve been eating paneer butter masala or paneer¬†makhani for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those classic Indian dishes, you are bound to see it at weddings, as part of a buffet, at parties, on restaurant menus both big and small….they may not call it paneer butter masala verbatim, but it’ll be there.

It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s a little sweet and it’s pink and pretty…perfect with naan, roti or phulkas. When we have had guests over for dinner, with a few vegetarians, I would always order it in from my favourite restaurant- I mean, how could I possibly make something that complicated, right? A regular paneer¬†bhurji or stir fry I could do; but everyone knows what good paneer butter masala tastes like, and it wouldn’t be right if mine bombed.

But turns out that creamy, pinkish, fragrant paneer butter masala is just as easily made at home, and it doesn’t take that much time, too much effort, or a yard-long list of ingredients! I found this recipe on the hugely popular vegetarian food blog, Edible Garden by Nags, and it’s so simple and so delicious I have made it over and over again.

And now that we are into the fall season and colder climes are setting in in many parts, this would be a nice warm dish to enjoy on a cold night.

And even though I don’t have much of a nip in the air or the need for scarves and transitional fall clothing to keep myself warm in Mumbai, I will gladly serve up some of this for dinner.

But yes, it can be too heavy during the summer months, given that it contains cottage cheese, butter and cream- so we might as well enjoy it now.

PANEER BUTTER MASALA: Find the recipe here, at Nags’ blog. I followed it as is. Can’t go wrong!

So, my final reasons for urging you to make paneer butter masala at home:

1. It’s quick

2. It’s easy.

3. It is something that will go down well with most diners, barring vegans and those with dietary restrictions. Even picky eaters will find some comfort in something as familiar as this. And, even the wily food snob, who turns his nose down at cult classics like ‘Gobi manchurian,’ ‘Chicken 65,’ and paneer butter masala, will still partake of it.

Egg Masala: Simple, Spicy And Speedy.

Two weeks ago for my What I Ate Wednesday post I posted a picture of egg masala. Egg masala is one of my all-time favourite dishes from home, and it is my go-to recipe when I want something spicy, something quick and when I am too lazy to make lentils or marinate meat.

Especially when one’s spouse will eat vegetarian food for only 2 days in a row and then begin to make a face. I always have eggs in stock…but how many omelettes can one eat? How many frittatas can one prepare? Sometimes, you just gotta have the curry. The masala. The desi raison d’etre. And this works wonderfully.

At home, we always refer to it as ‘mutta roast’¬†or egg roast, mostly because my grandmom would boil the eggs, and then fry them lightly in spiced oil so that the sides would turn a little brown and crisp. Then, she would remove it from the wok, make the gravy and add the eggs in again once the masala was cooked.¬†This adds a lovely little crunch…think of it as crackling from an egg. And if you ever travel through Kerala and stop at a highway diner or restaurant for breakfast, you can be rest assured that ‘mutta roast’ or ‘mutta curry’ will be on the menu. And you can safely order it, because it is a very rare Malayali dhaba that can screw up a mutta roast. I mean really. You have to be particularly devoid of knife skills and flavour sense to bungle this one up.

EGG MASALA

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder (I used my bhuna jeera powder.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste or tomato puree (you can use fresh or packaged)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil

METHOD

  • Boil the eggs, peel and keep aside. Make some slits along the flesh of the egg with the tip of a knife- this helps the masala seep in.
  • In a bowl, mix together the coriander powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder with a little water to make a smooth paste.
  • In a wok, add 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil becomes hot, add the whole spices- a small stick of cinnamon, 3 cardamom pods, 3 cloves. Fry gently taking care not to burn. The idea is to release the essential oils of the sweet spices into the oil.
  • Now add the masala paste and fry over gentle heat till oil separates.
  • Add the chopped onions, tomato, garlic, and saute gently till mixture becomes soft.
  • Once the masala begins to come together, add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and cook some more. At this stage, add in the 1 teaspoon of sugar, as well as salt to taste.
  • Add the boiled eggs at this stage, and just saute gently till the eggs are coated with the masala.
  • (If you want more gravy, or a runnier gravy, add some coconut milk to the masala, saute for some more time over low heat, and then add eggs.)
  • Before serving throw in curry leaves, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

The whole spices

Whole spices are actually so beautiful to look at and inhale…cinnamon is my favourite scent of all!

The powdered spices

Like I really needed to put that in. You know these are powdered spices. Oh well. My bloggy crutch.

Un oeuf- a little bumpy, this one.

The whole spices work their magic- they will release a wonderful aroma, that’s when you add the masala paste

I think cilantro is pretty. What about you?

‚ô• WHY DON’T YOU¬†‚ô•

‚ô•Substitute the boiled eggs with cottage cheese or tofu to make a vegetarian/vegan version?

‚ô• Use chunks or strips of chicken instead of boild eggs?

‚ô• Throw in some freshly minced ginger along with the onions, tomatoes and garlic for added flavour?