Raw papaya curry, made Bengali style – Kancha Peper Ghonto is raw papaya cooked with potatoes in mustard oil and flavoured with panch phoron and chillies
I love Bengali vegetarian cooking. Yes! Contrary to popular misconception, Bengali cuisine does have a vast repertoire of vegetarian dishes, making use of often neglected vegetables and fruits with such finesse that you can’t help but be in awe. All kinds of gourds, plantains, raw mangoes, different varieties of beans and eggplants, banana flower – all of them find a home in these Bengali vegetarian dishes. And not just these vegetables, but also their peels find their way into everyday dishes like the chorchori.
Check out some of the Bengali recipes from my blog:
Ghonto is a Bengali style preparation of a vegetable or a combination of vegetables – a dry curry that is had with rice. This kancha peper ghonto may not be a standard Bengali household combination, but raw papaya curry made along with potato is a delicious combination. The mustard oil, panch phoron and green chillies infuse so much flavour into this simple curry. You can also omit the potato and make this recipe with sliced raw papaya alone. If you would like this dish to be a quicker cooking one, coarsely grate the raw papaya instead of slicing. Traditionally served with rice, it also goes very well with Phulka rotis.
More Raw Papaya recipes
Raw papaya curry comes with excellent health benefits for the digestive and immune system and these recipes will help you eat more of this fruit. The papaya salad is a very popular dish in Thai cuisine. The raw papaya chutney is a vital condiment served along with dhokla and khandvi, and the raw papaya poha is my own creation.
Bengali Raw Papaya Curry | Kancha Peper Ghonto
- 1 small raw papaya
- 1 medium potato
- 1 tbsp mustard oil
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1-2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 green chillies slit
- 1/2 tsp panch phoron mix of 5 whole spices
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- To prepare the raw papaya curry, start by peeling the papaya. Cut into two halves vertically and keep this immersed in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. This is to make it easier to cut without all the sap sticking to the fingers. Peel and cut the potato into two halves, vertically. Slice each half into long thin strips and keep aside. Cut the papaya halves into similar sized strips and keep aside.
- In a heavy bottomed kadai / pan, heat mustard oil until smoking hot. Add ginger, garlic, chillies and panch phoron spice mix. Stir for a few seconds. Don’t let the garlic brown.
- Mix in the sliced raw papaya and potato.
- Sprinkle turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, sugar and stir well to combine. Add 1/4 cup water and cover the pan with a lid, steam cook for 10-12 minutes until the papaya and potato slices can be mashed with pressure from a spatula. Keep pan open and allow any leftover water to evaporate on medium flame.
- Garnish with a few more slit green chillies and serve with steaming hot Gobindobhog rice (or any other fragrant white rice).