Back at home, I serve this as an appetizer with baskets of flame-roasted or fried papads (lentil wafers). Enjoy them on hot buttered toast for a quick lunch.
2. In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat; add the mustard seed. When it begins to pop, cover the skillet. As soon as the seed finishes popping, add the hing and sizzle for 2 to 5 seconds. Pour the seed-oil mixture over the papaya and toss well to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Note: Choose a papaya that is green, firm, and unripe. Peel it with a potato peeler or a paring knife. The flesh will be light green in color (unlike the orange/red color when ripe). Slice the papaya lengthwise, and with a spoon scoop out and discard the pearl-like white seeds (which will turn a beautiful black color when ripe). Use the slicer blade attachment of a food processor to slice the papaya thin; a box grater's slicer surface will also suffice.
Adapted from The Turmeric Trail: Recipes and Memories from an Indian Childhood by Raghavan Iyer (St. Martin's Press, 2002). Copyright 2002 by Raghavan Iyer.
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