I first tasted this crunchy, mildly tangy, sweet and spicy salad back in 2007, it was our first anniversary dinner and we decided to go to Pad Thai (little gem of a restaurant in Madinat Jumeirah with gorgeous setting overlooking the water canal, it offers amazing food and great service – no affiliation, just a happy customer). That date has very special memories of jubilation and pride at having touched the first anniversary milestone; but the romanticism of the date has not clouded my memory of the dinner we ate that night, the food was a treasure of flavours, taste and layers. My love for Thai food started that night and the pursuit of authentic taste took me to Bangkok and Krabi the following year. Here’s a version of easy to make vegan paw-paw salad.
Prep Time: 15 Mins
Assembly Time: 5 mins
Recipe Level: Easy
Spice Level: Low
Serves: 4 People
Shelf Life: Eat fresh
Serving Suggestion: By itself or as a side for barbecue or kebabs
A julienne peeler, chopping board, knife, a small container and serving bowl
- 1/2-1 birds eye chilli (green chilli is a good substitute)
- 1/2 inch garlic
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
- 1 tsp pure jaggery paste
- 1 cup finely shredded green papaya (or green mango)
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 6 green beans, trimmed and chopped into 2-3cm lengths
- 1 tsp gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 lemon juiced
- sea salt, to taste
- In a mortar & pestle grind together the chilli, garlic, peanuts and sugar. Remove them.
- Add green beans in the same mortar and bruise lightly with the pestle.
- In a serving dish, add the contents from mortar, cherry tomatoes, grated green papaya while using a spoon mix everything.
- Add gluten-free soy sauce, tamarind paste and lime/lemon juice to taste.
- It is a beautiful combination of salty, sweet and sour, so add more palm sugar, lemon juice, or sea salt, as per taste.
- Serve immediately.
- Here, I was out of peanuts so I used red onions to add a bit of crunch to make my cheat papaya salad.
- Similarly, the cherry tomatoes can easily be replaced by Roma or beef ones. Jaggery can be replaced palm sugar/ brown sugar/ raw sugar.