Call it Pepe Ghonto Narkel diye or Pepe Chechki or simple Grated Raw Papaya Curry with Coconut, it will always be remembered as an ageless classic Bengali preparation. This is one of those traditional Bengali dishes which is cooked and enjoyed in several ways in both Bengals (West Bengal, India and Bangladesh). There are nothing called authentic recipe for the dish. But in most recipes grated raw papaya is cooked with crispy potato, desiccated coconut and flavoured with whole Garam Masala and other spices.
This quick and easy peper torkari is a No Onion No garlic recipe which can be enjoyed by Jain people. It can be suitable for vegan diet if we discard the ghee from ingredient list. Ghee is used only to enhance the richness in this flavoursome Raw Papaya Curry which is completely avoidable if required. As this pepe ghonto recipe calls for little oil and spices it is easy digestible and ideal for kids and elders. You can always adjust the amount of spices and chili according to your preference.
I always feel raw papaya is the most underrated vegetable in a Bengali kitchen. Though it is a powerhouse of vitamin A and vitamin C we completely ignore this kancha pepe in veggie market. The only time pepe becomes mandatory in one’s house when someone is having trouble in their guts (not with the guts). Raw green papaya not only stimulates our digestion but also accelerates the regeneration of our skin cells. So quickly it got categorized as healthy veggie and forgotten from a healthy stomach.
The most popular Bengali raw papaya recipe is Kancha Peper Dalna which is often cooked with pounds of spices and oil. Certainly this slow cooking taste awesome but it also destroys the all positive effects of raw papaya. I love this spicy hot curry any day but not today.
Today is for this simple yet delectable preparation where grated papaya is stir fried with little oil and minimal spices. This narkel deoa pepe chechki is flavoured with pounded ginger and whole garam masala. Freshly desiccated coconut and crispy fried potatoes are mixed to avoid the monotonous chewy papaya. Sometimes handful of raisins and dry roasted peanuts are also added for extra crunch. Ideally this grated papaya curry is served hot on lunch with rice and dal. But I personally love it with ruti/roti on dinner.
Watch my elaborated step by step video recipe of Pepe Ghonto aka Grated Raw Papaya Curry.
Read the entire recipe and Notes carefully before you start cooking. Do make sure all ingredients are at room temperature (unless mentioned) and weighed or measured correctly in appropriate weighing scale or measuring instruments such as cups or spoons. Remember these are not regular cups or spoons which is used in daily life.
- Raw papaya: 1, 500g
- Potato, small: 1, cubed
- Desiccated Coconut: ½ cup, fresh or ⅓ cup dried
- Ginger, grated: 2 tsp
- Green chili: 2
- Mustard oil: 2 tbsp
- Ghee (clarified butter): 1 tsp, optional
- Whole Spices:
- Bay leaf: 1
- Green cardamom: 4-5, crushed
- Cinnamon stick: 1”
- Dry Red Chili: 1, broken
- Ground Spices:
- Turmeric: 1 tsp
- Kashmiri Red Chili: 1 tbsp (decrease the amount if not heat lover)
- Cumin: 1 tsp
- Salt: 1.5 tsp
- Sugar: 1 tsp
- Clean raw papaya, remove skin, seeds and grate the white flesh. You will get around 3 cups of grated papaya which will be reduced while cooking to 2 cups.
- Take deep bottomed pan and heat mustard oil. Fry potatoes with ¼ tsp turmeric powder and ½ tsp salt. Cook till potatoes are crispy, 3-5 mins. Remove fried potatoes from oil and keep aside until needed.
- Add whole spices in the same oil and allow to splutter. Add ginger and sauté for 30 sec.
- Add grated raw papaya to the pan and stir carefully.
- Add all ground spices to the papaya and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning is required.
- Add previously cooked potatoes. Cover the pan and cook on medium-low fame for 10-12 mins or until papaya is cooked.
- Once raw papaya and potato are cooked add desiccated coconut, green chili and stir quickly. Switch off the flame.
- Add ghee and keep on stand by for 5 mins. Serve with rice and dal or roti. Enjoy!
Adjust the amount of red chili powder according to personal preference.
2. Add ¼ cup dry roasted peanut with the coconut for some extra crunch.
3. Add 2 tbsp of raisin to add some sweetness to this grated papaya curry.
EAT, LOVE & ENJOY! REPEAT!!!
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