Coming from the tropics myself, papaya was readily available everywhere. Typically a ripened papaya is consumed as it is, like a fruit. But a green or unripened one was usually used for savory dishes.
I happened to find Green Papaya here at the Asian grocery store and brought it home, without knowing what I was going to do with it. I had guests coming home and needed a relish to go with the meal I had prepared. A green papaya does not exactly have a strong flavor by itself so it can marry well with the any kind of savory, sweet or tangy flavor you give it. And there it was, my ingredient for a perfect relish!
To add a dash of texture and flavor, I added cranberries and was pleasantly surprised with the pinkish hue it lends the dish.
The versatility of this recipe is huge! There are plenty of ways in which you can make this accompany your meal or snack or even dessert.
~With Indian food it can be served as a chutney, eaten by itself or to tone down spicy dishes! Children especially will love this due to its sweet and tangy flavor.
With any indian bread/paratha, it goes well too!
~ Looking for a unique ice cream topping, add a spoonful or two of this and turn your plain boring vanilla ice cream into a treat!
~If you want to add a dash of something different to your regular green salad, add some of this relish and give it a toss. The flavor goes well with any summer salad.
~And need I mention that this would be oh-so-good with chips?! This could be a sweet and sour addition to pico de gallo/salsa fresca and salsa verde. (Game nights just became so much better!)
Most importantly, this recipe is not time consuming and is extremely easy to make. It gets done pretty fast.
Without further ado, let’s look at the recipe. 🙂
Ingredients you will need:
2 ½ cups Green papaya, thinly sliced
¾ cup dried cranberries
1 ½ cups sugar
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ cups water
½ tsp salt
Method for cooking:
1. Heat a saucepan, add the water and papaya slices, salt and sugar. Stir once to ensure all the papaya is soaked in the water. Cover this and cook on medium-high heat for 15-17 mins.
2. The sugar and water will start to thicken and the papaya slices will look cooked and almost translucent. At this point, add the cranberries. Cover and cook for another 5-10 mins.
3. Uncover, add the lemon juice. (You can add more if you like it more tangy.) Give it a final stir and cook for 3-4 mins more for it to reduce with a thick syrup, while the papaya slices will still be whole and translucent.