As is the case mostly, Big Basket got me a raw papaya instead of the ripe one that I had ordered. I tried to to ripen it by keeping it in a paper bag. However, that did not help much and to my dismay after cutting the fruit open, it was bland – neither raw nor sweet enough to consume it.
Well, I decided to make a halwa out of this cut fruit so that it would atleast become palatable and would not go waste. ..and that was a very good decision as the halwa turned out to be a really tasty affair…
Grated Ripe papaya – around 400-500 gms
Ghee – 1/2 cup or slightly more as per your preference
Sugar – 6-8 tbsp ( this depends on the sweetness of your papaya as well; hence would recommend to add spoon by spoon and check the taste)
Unsweetened Mawa/Milk powder/Almond powder – 2-3 tbsp
Elaichi powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – a pinch
Dry fruits like raisins and cashews – optional
Heat the ghee in a thick-bottomed kadhai and add the grated papaya. Mix it well. Keep it covered for 10 minutes or so on a low flame till the papaya gets cooked well. The water should get evaporated and the fruit should get cooked nicely in the ghee till the ghee leaves the sides of the pan.
Mash it lightly. To this, add the sugar, milk powder or almond powder, salt and mix well. Taste the sweetness and add more or less sugar accordingly. Remove the lid and fry it for 5-10 minutes more on a low- to -moderate heat with intermittent stirring.
Switch off the heat. Add cardamom powder and mix well. Again keep it covered for 5 minutes. Garnish with nuts and serve.
This halwa tastes more or less like our good, old doodhi ka halwa…best enjoyed when hot.