Papaya Curry Recipe

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Papaya curry is a flavorful and nutritious dish made with unripe or green papaya as the main ingredient.

This curry is commonly prepared in various cuisines, including Indian, Thai, and Southeast Asian.

Raw papaya lends a unique texture and a mildly sweet taste to the curry, which is complemented by a blend of spices and seasonings.

The curry can be prepared in different styles, such as a tangy and spicy curry with a tomato or tamarind base, or a milder and creamier version with coconut milk.

Papaya Curry

Key Takeaways:

  • Papaya curry is a dish made using unripe or green papaya as the main ingredient.
  • Green papaya adds a unique texture and a slightly tangy taste to the curry.
  • The curry is typically cooked with a combination of spices, herbs, and a flavorful sauce or broth.
  • Papaya curry can be customized to suit different preferences, ranging from mild to spicy.
  • It is often served as a main course alongside rice or roti.
  • The curry offers a balance of flavors, combining the freshness of green papaya with the richness of the curry base.
  • It is a versatile dish that can be made with variations in ingredients and seasonings based on regional preferences.

The Ingredients:

Papaya Curry Ingredients

How to Cook Papaya Curry (Step by Step Images)?

1. Turn on the flame and heat the pan, pour the mustard oil, heat the oil to lightly fry the papaya.

Adding oil to kadai

2. Add papaya to kadai and a pinch of salt. Give it a stir.

Adding and stirring papaya

3. Add a little turmeric. Stir and fry the papaya. Turn the gas flame to low.

Adding a little turmeric to papaya

4. Take out the papaya from the kadai once it is lightly fried.

Taking out papaya out of kadai

5. Again, add some oil in the kadai.

Adding some oil in the kadai

6. Heat the oil and then add the whole spices, cumin 1/5 spoon, 4 cardamom, 2 cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and dried chilies.

adding the whole spices

7. Add the tomatoes and Sautee it.

Add the tomatoes and Sautee it.

8. Add a pinch of salt to cook it fast.

Adding the pinch of salt

9. Add the Ginger, garlic & onion paste and stir it nicely till the raw smell goes away.

Stirring ginger garlic onion paste

10. Now add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli powder and water. Medium the flame and stir it very well. Add the water when the paste is dry. Stir it very well. Cover it with a lid and wait for minutes.

Stir and put a lid on kadai step by step image

11. Add the papayas and stir it very well.

Adding lightly fried papaya and stirring

12. Add a pinch of salt and turn the flame to low.

Adding pinch of salt papaya curry

13. Cover the lid and wait for minutes. Add some lukewarm water and let it boil. Turn the gas flame high and leave it for 15 mins.

Letting papaya curry to boil

14. Add some garam masala and ghee just before you turn off the flame.

Adding some garam masala and ghee

15. Papaya curry is ready. Serve it hot.

Papaya curry is ready

Pro Tips for Making Papaya Curry

Here are some pro tips for making papaya curry:

Choosing the right papaya: Look for unripe or green papayas that are firm and have a pale green skin. Avoid papayas that are overly ripe or have yellow or orange skin, as they won’t work well for this curry.

Properly peel and prepare the papaya: Peel the green papaya using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. Remove the seeds from the center before slicing or shredding it for the curry. You can use a grater or a mandoline slicer for uniform and thin papaya slices.

Tenderize the papaya: Green papaya can be tough some time, so you can to tenderize it before cooking. You can achieve this by marinating the papaya in a mixture of salt and lime or lemon juice for about 10-15 minutes. This will help soften the papaya and enhance its flavor.

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Balancing flavors: Green papaya has a slightly tangy taste, so it’s important to balance it with other flavors. Add a combination of spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder to bring depth and complexity to the curry. Adjust the spices according to your taste preferences.

Use the right cooking method: Green papaya can be cooked in various ways, such as simmering in a sauce or stir-frying. Simmering in a flavorful broth or coconut milk can help infuse the papaya with the curry flavors. Alternatively, stir-frying can give the papaya a slightly crisp texture.

Add complementary ingredients: Enhance the flavors of the papaya curry by adding complementary ingredients like coconut milk, fresh herbs (such as cilantro or basil), lime or lemon juice, and a touch of sweetness (such as palm sugar or brown sugar) to balance the tanginess.

Don’t overcook the papaya: Green papaya cooks relatively quickly, so be mindful not to overcook it. It should still retain a slight crunch and hold its shape. Overcooking can make the papaya mushy and diminish its texture.

Taste and adjust: Throughout the cooking process, taste the curry and adjust the seasonings as needed. This will help you achieve the desired flavor balance.

Garnish for added freshness: Just before serving, garnish the green papaya curry with fresh herbs, such as chopped cilantro or basil. This will add a burst of freshness and enhance the visual appeal of the dish.

Allow flavors to meld: Like many curries, papaya curry tastes even better when allowed to sit for a while after cooking. This allows the flavors to meld together and develop more complexity. Consider making the curry in advance or allowing it to rest for a few minutes before serving.

By following these pro tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious and well-balanced green papaya curry that highlights the unique flavors of this ingredient. Enjoy experimenting with different spices and ingredients to create your own signature version of the dish.

What to Serve with Papaya Curry?

Papaya curry pairs well with a variety of dishes that complement its flavors and provide a balanced meal. Here are some suggestions for what to serve with papaya curry:

Steamed Rice: Serve papaya curry with plain steamed rice, which helps absorb the flavorful curry sauce and provides a neutral base for the dish.

Roti or Naan: Enjoy papaya curry with traditional Indian bread like roti or naan. The bread can be used to scoop up the curry and adds a satisfying texture to the meal.

Rice Noodles: For a lighter option, serve papaya curry with rice noodles. The noodles add a delicate and chewy texture to the dish, enhancing the overall experience.

Salad: Balance the richness of the curry with a fresh salad on the side. A simple green salad with cucumber, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes dressed with a light vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast.

Papadums: Serve crispy papadums on the side to add a crunchy element to the meal. These thin and crispy lentil crackers complement the flavors and textures of the curry.

Remember to consider your personal preferences and dietary restrictions when choosing accompaniments for papaya curry. The goal is to create a well-rounded meal that balances flavors, textures, and nutritional elements.

How Does Papaya Curry Taste?

Papaya curry has a distinct taste that sets it apart from other curries. Here’s an idea of how it tastes:

Mild and slightly tangy: Green papaya has a milder and less sweet taste compared to ripe papaya. It adds a subtle tanginess to the curry, which contributes to its unique flavor profile.

Savory and aromatic: Papaya curry is typically cooked with a blend of spices and herbs that create a savory and aromatic flavor. Common spices used in the curry include cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and chili powder. These spices infuse the curry with a fragrant and enticing aroma.

Balanced flavors: The tanginess of the green papaya is balanced by the spices and other ingredients in the curry, resulting in a well-rounded taste. The combination of flavors creates a harmonious balance between the mild tanginess, savory spices, and any other ingredients used in the dish.

Absorbing curry flavors: Green papaya has a neutral taste that readily absorbs the flavors of the curry sauce or broth it is cooked in. This allows the papaya to take on the flavors of the spices and seasonings, making it an excellent vehicle for delivering delicious curry flavors.

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Overall, Papaya curry offers a unique blend of mild tanginess, freshness, and savory spices. The taste can vary depending on the specific recipe and the spices used, but it generally provides a delightful and refreshing twist on traditional curry flavors.

Papaya Curry Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to green papaya curry, here are a few options:

Potato Curry: Substitute green papaya with potatoes to make a delicious potato curry. Potatoes offer a creamy texture and absorb flavors well, making them a versatile ingredient for curries.

Mixed Vegetable Curry: Create a flavorful mixed vegetable curry using a combination of your favorite vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower, peas, and beans. This allows you to enjoy a variety of textures and flavors in one dish.

Eggplant Curry: Make a hearty and satisfying eggplant curry by cooking tender chunks of eggplant in a rich and flavorful sauce. Eggplant absorbs spices well and develops a creamy texture when cooked.

Paneer Curry: Paneer, a popular Indian cheese, can be used to make a delicious and creamy curry. Combine paneer cubes with a rich tomato-based sauce infused with aromatic spices for a flavorful alternative to green papaya curry.

Chickpea Curry: Opt for a protein-packed chickpea curry, also known as chana masala. Cook chickpeas in a spiced tomato-onion gravy for a hearty and satisfying alternative.

Mushroom Curry: If you enjoy the earthy flavor and meaty texture of mushrooms, try a mushroom curry. Saute mushrooms with onions, garlic, and spices to create a flavorful curry that pairs well with rice or bread.

Lentil Curry: Prepare a lentil curry using various types of lentils like red lentils (masoor dal) or yellow lentils (toor dal). These lentils cook quickly and offer a creamy texture when simmered with aromatic spices.

Spinach Curry: Make a nutritious and flavorful spinach curry by cooking fresh spinach leaves in a spiced sauce. Spinach adds vibrant color and a unique taste to the curry.

These alternatives allow you to explore different flavors and textures while still enjoying a satisfying and delicious curry dish. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and spices to create a curry that suits your taste preferences.

Recipe Card

Papaya Curry

Papaya Curry

By Mita Mondal
Papaya curry is a dish that features unripe or green papaya as the main ingredient. It is a popular dish found in various cuisines, particularly in Southeast Asia and parts of India.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 178 kcal


  • 800 grams Green papaya (cut into cubes and cleaned properly)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 4 pieces Cardamom
  • 2 pieces Cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 0.5 tablespoon Cumin powder
  • 0.5 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon Colour Red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Regular red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 piece Dried red chili
  • 2 pieces Bay leaves
  • 1 piece Tomato (chopped)
  • 1 piece Onion (pasted with ginger garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons Ginger, garlic & onion paste
  • 3 tablespoons Mustard oil
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat a pan over medium heat and add mustard oil. Allow the oil to heat up before adding the papaya.
  • Add the papaya to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Give it a stir to coat the papaya with the oil and salt.
  • Sprinkle a little turmeric over the papaya and continue stirring and frying it until lightly cooked. Reduce the flame to low.
  • Once the papaya is lightly fried, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
  • Add a bit more oil to the pan and heat it. Then, add whole spices such as cumin, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and dried chilies.
  • Sauté the spices for a moment, and then add the tomatoes. Stir and cook the tomatoes until they soften.
  • Add a pinch of salt to help the tomatoes cook faster. Next, add the ginger, garlic, and onion paste. Stir well until the raw smell disappears.
  • Now, add turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder to the pan along with some water. Stir everything together on medium heat until the paste thickens. If the mixture becomes too dry, add a little more water. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Return the papaya to the pan and stir it well with the spices and masala.
  • Add a pinch of salt, reduce the flame to low, cover the pan, and let it simmer for a few more minutes. If needed, add some lukewarm water to achieve the desired consistency. Increase the flame to high and let it boil for 15 minutes.
  • Just before turning off the heat, sprinkle some garam masala and ghee over the curry for added flavor.
  • Your papaya curry is now ready to be served. Enjoy it hot with steamed rice or bread.


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Green papaya selection: Choose unripe or green papaya that is firm and has a pale green skin. Avoid papayas that are too ripe, as they will be sweet and may not hold up well in the curry.
Peeling and seeding: Peel the green papaya using a vegetable peeler or knife. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Slice or grate the papaya according to your preferred texture.
Pre-cooking the papaya: Lightly fry the sliced or cubed papaya in oil until it becomes slightly tender. This helps enhance its flavor and reduces cooking time in the curry.
Spice level: Adjust the amount of chili powder or fresh chilies according to your spice preference. Add more or less to suit your taste.
Whole spices: The combination of cumin, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and dried chilies adds depth and aroma to the curry. You can adjust the quantities of these spices based on your preference.
Cooking time: Simmer the curry on low heat to allow the flavors to meld together and the papaya to fully cook. This helps in achieving a tender yet slightly firm texture for the papaya.
Garnishing: Just before serving, garnish the green papaya curry with fresh cilantro leaves or chopped coriander for a burst of freshness and added visual appeal.
Adjusting consistency: If the curry appears too thick, add a little water or vegetable broth to achieve the desired consistency. If it's too thin, let it simmer uncovered for a few more minutes to thicken.
Serving suggestions: Green papaya curry pairs well with steamed rice, roti, naan, or any Indian bread. You can also serve it as a side dish alongside other curries or as part of a vegetarian thali.
Remember, these recipe notes are meant to provide guidance, but feel free to adapt and customize the curry based on your taste preferences and available ingredients. Enjoy the process of creating a flavorful green papaya curry!

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Papaya Curry
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Papaya curry is a unique and flavorful dish that offers a mild tanginess and a refreshing crunch. It combines the freshness of green papaya with savory spices to create a well-balanced and aromatic curry.

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If you’re looking to try something different and explore tropical flavors, green papaya curry is a delightful option.

Whether you enjoy it as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish, this curry is a delicious way to experience the versatility of green papaya in Indian cuisine.

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