Green Papaya Mulakushyam

Green Papaya Mulakushyam

This is home cooking from Kerala at its best. Simple ingredients, nourishing and full of flavour. Serve this thick, delicious raw papaya and lentil curry with steamed rice.

Ingredients serves 4-5 with rice

Green papaya/kapplanga peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces (remove any small seeds)
1/2 cup Yellow Moong dal or Toor dal
2 small plum Tomatoes chopped
2 Green chillies, stalks removed broken into 2-3 pieces
1/4 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 Black Pepper powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Ghee (optional)
Jaggery and salt to taste


2 tbsp Coconut or veg oil and ghee

2-3 red kashmiri chilli broken into pieces

6 green curry leaves torn

1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds


Cook open in a Dutch oven or pressure cook lentil or parippu with the tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder green chillies and excess water. When the dal is soft and falling apart, mash it with the back of a large spoon or a potato masher to a coarse consistency with tomatoes.
Add raw papaya with more water if required, 1 tsp salt, ghee, powdered jaggery, black pepper powder and cook until papaya is edible but holds its shape. Pour into a serving dish.

In a tempering spoon heat ghee or coconut oil on a high flame and temper the spices until they crackle and become aromatic. Pour over the lentils. Mix well just before serving. Serve with plain boiled rice.



Matanga Erriserry


For cooking Pumpkin

  • 250 grams yellow pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 100 grams black eyed peas also called cow peas soaked in excess water overnight
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

For the coconut masala

  • 2 tablespoon fresh shredded coconut
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

For the top tempering

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies (Kashmiri or Bedgi) stalks and seeds removed
  • 10 fresh green curry leaves on a stalk
  • 2 tablespoon fresh shredded coconut or defrosted


  • Drain and wash the cow peas. Cook them with turmeric, red chilli powder and 4 cups of water until tender on a high flame. Add more water as required. When pressed between your fingers the bean should collapse. You could use a pressure cooker but this can result in the skins separating from the peas. Now add the pumpkin with 1 cup water and cook again 5 minutes. Reserve.
  • Grind the coconut, green chilli and cumin seeds along with a 1-2 tablespoons of the residual pumpkin water to a coarse paste. Combine pumpkin pieces, remaining water, coconut masala in a large saucepan and cook on medium heat until the pumpkin is very tender and the water has dried up. The pumpkin should fall apart if pressed down with a spoon.Gently mash the pumpkin with the ladle for a coarse consistency. Add salt to taste. Scoop into a serving dish.
  • Heat coconut oil and veg oil or ghee in a kadai and add mustard and cumin seeds, fresh green curry leaves, dried red chillies when the oil is hot. Let the seeds and chilli sizzle. Add in the fresh shredded coconut and fry till the coconut is golden brown. Pour the tempering over the warm pumpkin. Stir just before you serve the dish.


A popular Indo Chinese dish in India this can also be prepared with paneer or halloumi. The Chilli in Chilli Chicken refers to both green chillies and green bell peppers. My version has a slightly lighter sauce that leaves the vegetables bright and crisp.

Ingredients for 4 served with rice

For the crispy chicken

500 grams chilli chicken cut or boneless skinless thighs in 1 inch pieces ‍‍

1 egg white

4 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or rice wine vinegar

1 tsp garlic ginger paste

½ tsp pepper

1/4 cup cornflour

1/4 cup all purpose or maida

1/2 tsp salt

Vegetable or canola oil for frying


1 tsp vegetable oil

2 green chillies slit

1 teaspoon garlic and ginger paste

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

3-4 tbsp red chilli sauce or to taste

water about 1.5 cups

1 tsp ground pepper

2 tsp brown sugar salt to taste


Stir chicken and egg white in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Combine ingredients for the sauce and stir well to make a slurry. Taste for salt, spiciness and sweetness and adjust to your taste. Reserve.

Heat 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil in a medium size skillet over medium flame. Add green onions and sauté well. Add garlic and ginger and cook till soft and just golden. Raise heat to high. Add green chillies, bell peppers and capsicum and toss in the pan till just tender about 1 minute. The vegetables should be crisp but edible. Reserve on a plate.

Combine dry ingredients for the crispy chicken in a mixing bowl to make a smooth thick batter. Set the same skillet on high heat and add two inches of frying oil. When hot but not smoking reduce the flame to medium heat. Add chicken to the batter and coat each piece completely. Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown and cooked through. Drain over paper towels. Heat sauce in a skillet until bubbly and reduces in volume by half. Add chicken and toss well. Switch off the flame. Add vegetables and toss well. Adjust for seasoning. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion stalks. Serve hot with steamed plain white rice or egg noodles




This sweet, tart and spicy Parsi style Kheema is served with potato sali and gutli or ladi pao. A fried egg on the side works very well too. I recommend a Parsi garam masala because it is sweeter than the regular garam masala. If you use mutton mince it takes longer to cook than chicken mince. if you use a plant meat substitute cook your peas first before you add the meat substitute. Ask for a medium mince. Portuguese or potato buns are good substitute if ladi pao is not available.

Ingredients for 4-5

500 grams chicken or mutton mince (kheema)

120 grams cooking potatoes peeled and diced into half inch pieces

3 small to medium red onions peeled and finely chopped

1 inch cinnamon stick

5 whole black peppercorns

2 cups finely chopped plum tomatoes

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

1.5 tsp Parsi garam masala

2 tablespoon green chilli, ginger and cumin paste

1 cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1.5 tsp white vinegar

1/2 cup shelled peas

3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander and mint leaves (optional)


Potato sali (matchstick potatoes) 1 cup

Ladi pao 8-10 Individual buns


Grind together 1 inch fresh peeled ginger root with 1 teaspoon cumin powder and 2-3 green chillies until smooth. Reserve.

Deep fry diced potatoes until golden. Drain and reserve.

Heat 3 tbsp oil (you can use the oil from the fried potatoes) in a wide skillet. When hot add the onions, peppercorns and cinnamon and sauce until onions soften and begin to brown a little. Now add tomatoes and stir until pulped 4-5 minutes. Add turmeric and chilli powder. Add a tsp of salt.

Add water to facilitate the cooking 1/4 cup at a time. Add tomato paste and stir well. Add Parsi garam masala, ginger, cumin chilli paste and cook another 2 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.

Add garlic ginger paste and cook 1 minute, stirring to prevent burning.

Add mincemeat and stir well about 3-4 minutes. Lower the flame then add water with sugar and vinegar and peas and cook until mincemeat and peas are tender. Add fried potatoes and add your chopped coriander and mint leaves if using while the minced meat is hot and stir into it several times so as to wilt and cook the herbs.

Adjust for salt, sugar and vinegar.

Serve kheema hot with a side of salli (matchstick) potatoes and buns. A fried egg, sliced onions and green chillies is also commonly provided as sides.

Sweet and Spicy Parsi style Kheema

SPICY THAI BASIL CHICKEN Pad Kra Pao Gai (ผัดกระเพราไก่) 


  • 500 grams finely chopped boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 6-10 red Thai chilies, stalks removed (to taste)
  • 1-2 tablespoon vegetable, peanut or soy oil for cooking
  • 2 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark sweet soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, palm sugar or honey
  • salt to taste if required
  • 15-20 Thai holy basil leaves or Thai sweet basil (stalks removed)
  • 3-4 crispy fried eggs (1 per person)
  • Boiled Jasmine rice to serve
  1. Combine all the sauces in a small bowl, stir and reserve.
  2. Bash the garlic and chilies using a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground.
  3. Heat your wok on high heat, and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the smashed chilies and garlic. Sauté them for about 20 seconds until aromatic but don’t brown them.
  5. Add the diced chicken. Lower flame to medium, Keep stirring using a spatula or moving the wok up and down to ensure the food does not burn and cooks evenly.
  6. Add sauces and cook another 60 seconds or until chicken is cooked.
  7. Add the holy or sweet basil leaves. Incorporate the basil flavours by flipping the chicken and leaves about for 60 seconds then switch off the flame. Basil gets stringy if overcooked.
  8. Serve the chicken with plain boiled jasmine rice and a crispy fried egg.