Recipe for Raw Papaya Thoran ~ Kerala Style

amma, as you all know was here for a month….after many months of nagging…she managed to tear herself away from her grand-daughter and give me the pleasure of her company….

the good thing about her being with me….is that i have a willing guinea pig for my culinary experiments….. a few days ago….i cut into a papaya, and found that it wasn’t ripe enough to be eaten at breakfast….i was angry with the fruit seller…and more with myself, because i failed to wait patiently another day till it was really ready to be eaten…..for a long time now I have been eying some recipes with papaya…raw and ripe…..but wondered if K would be subjected to it….with just two people at the table, it is a big pain in the you know where if one doesn’t like / relish the food that’s been made….so I wondered aloud if I should make a curry / stir fry out of it….and K groaned!! Amma egged me on….giving some testimonials of a few random friends who’d tried it and sang praises….

i wasnt too sure about what to do, lurked around blogs and finally found this recipe at Bharathy’s Spicy chilly I followed this recipe with minor changes (but naturally) using vegetable oil instead of coconut and adding a few drops of coconut for the flavour….what amazed me is that the whole preparation, cooking to serving took less than 12 minutes!! I kid you not!! I am a great advocate of the steaming and stir fry method of cooking because it is not just healthy, but saves time and retains the flavour of the food…. but this one zapped me!! I usually make most veggies like beans, carrot, cabbage, etc the poriyal way…..steam for a few minutes (usually in the microwave oven while I ready the other stuff), temper, stir fry, add the salt and seasonings, grated coconut and serve…..this is my first attempt at the thoran….i admit, I was wondering how the ground masala would taste….i was stumped!! This is going to get onto my everyday way of cooking….minus the ton of fresh coconut though!!

The papaya was semi ripe…which meant that the taste and texture was very similar to yellow pumpkin….

papaya thoran (serves 3)

time taken 10 -12 minutes

here is bharathy’s recipe

2 cups papaya, peeled and cubed
Turmeric powder-2 pinches
Salt-to taste

grind to a coarse paste
1/2 c Grated fresh coconut

1/4 t Cumin seeds

1-2 Garlic cloves

2 dried red chillies

2 T chopped onion or shallots

a pinch of Turmeric powder


1 t oil

1/4 t Mustard seeds

1/4 t urad dal

a sprig of curry leaves

1/4 tcoconut oil


Cook the papaya pieces in just enough water and salt and turmeric in a closed pan till they are just half cooked and firm. mixing once in a while to ensure they are done evenly

heat the oil in a thick botommed pan and splutter the mustard, toast the urad and add the curry leaves.

add the coarsely ground paste and saute for a minute till the raw smell disappears

add the pieces of papaya, mix carefully without overdoing it to blend them well.

sprinkle a little water if required, cover and cook for a couple of minutes on minimum heat.

serve hot with rice or rotis

12 Comments Add yours

  1. mallugirl says:

    semi ripe papayas are so yummy as a chaat too..

  2. Meera says:

    That thoran looks great. I think I might use pumpkin and try it.

  3. Nandita says:

    very nice! i use raw papaya for the thai ginto, but thoran sounds tempting!

  4. Jayashree says:

    This is a simple yet tasty dish….tastes best when the papaya is just beginning to turn yellow….

  5. priyanka says:

    nice one,..ur post reminded me of my mother..

  6. ranji says:

    delcious!!!mouth pappaya…

  7. Uma says:

    Isn’t it a great feeling to have our mothers with us? papaya thoran is a lovely recipe! looks so delicious.

  8. vanamala says:

    Something new .. Looks nice

  9. rupasivanarayana says:

    Hey Anu,

    There is a little something for you…please do drop by at my blog


  10. Aparna says:

    Doesn’t this taste very good? I have another version, Arundathi. Its still in my drafts.
    If you use the very firm papaya which is is just beginning to change colour on the inside (we call this stage “chenachathu”) its absolutely delish. And yes papaya cooks real quick.:)

  11. Asha says:

    That is a delectable dish!:))

  12. sagari says:

    looks delecioussss arundathi

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