Monday 14 January 2008

Recipe: Roast Papaya

Yet another of those fruits the name of which conjures up images of tropical paradise and exotic lushness, but where the reality is that they are practically tasteless, and at best serve as a make-weight in a fresh fruit salad (where they get points simply for being unusual) and their lack of personality gets lost amongst the flavours of all the other fruit.

This way of dealing with Papaya, though, raises them to a whole different level - and, if nothing else, justifies the time spent on the moral dilemma re whether to buy them and support the third world economy, or to boycott them on the basis of their questionable food-miles rating!

There are two ways of preparing this dish - the diet-conscious way, and the devil-may-care way......the end result is pretty close whichever version you choose..

For two (indulgent) or four (restrained).

Ingredients: Two Papaya (medium sized, and ripe, but not too soft); the juice of two medium-sized Limes; one generous teaspoon of Curry Powder; six tablespoons of soft, dark brown Sugar - something like muscovado (for the dietarily-sound version, replace this with six tablespoons of Splenda, and two tablespoons of Dark Rum); chilled double Cream, for serving (or Greek Yoghurt, for a low-fat alternative).


1. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees C.

2. Cut the Papaya in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then, using a small, sharp knife, separate the flesh of the Papaya from its skin, and score it through, as if preparing a melon quarter; leave the scored flesh in place within the Papaya skin. Place the Papaya halves cut-side up on a baking tray

3. Mix together the Lime juice, Sugar (or Splenda with Rum) and Curry Powder; stir with a fork for half a minute or so, to dissolve the Sugar in the liquid, then divide this between the Papaya halves, spooning it into each cavity.

4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for twelve minutes (test with a skewer at the end of this time, to ensure the flesh is properly cooked; if the skewer encounters resistance, return the Papaya to the oven for a few more minutes).

Fill the cavity in each half with chilled Cream (or Yoghurt) and serve.

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