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Som Tum (vegetarian Thai papaya salad)


Mix shredded peeled and deseeded green papaya + grated carrots + thinly sliced cabbage + soy sauce + grated garlic + finely chopped Thai chillies + lime or lemon juice + sugar + salt. Mix firmly with fingers or grind coarsly in a rock mortar with a wooden pestle if you have one handy. Once happy with the flavour balance, add roasted peanuts and serve.

Hyderabadi kacchi ghosht ki biryani


Marinate 1 kg of small mutton pieces with 4 tablespoons of raw papaya peel + salt paste (papain concentrated in raw papaya skin is a natral meat tenderiser) + dahi + ginger garlic paste + lemon juice + biryani masala powder for 3 hours. Use your hands to really push the flavour into the meat. Fry 2 big finely chopped or ground onion in ghee till brown and caramelised + add the marinated mixture and mix. Do not mix beyond this point as the meat should stay at the bottom with the rice in a layer above it. Add the basmati rice + water + a fistful of corriander and mint leaves + whole slit chillies + salt. Cover and cook - without mixing to maintain the layers - till the rice is fluffy. Serve with raita.