Sambharo is a classic Guajarati style stir-fried vegetable perpetration that is served along with the meal as a cooked salad or accompanies many of the Guajarati farsans/snacks like fafda, papdi, ganthiya or gota. Since the probabilities of catching bacterial infections are great in raw salads, the cooked sambhara make ideal accompaniment to the meals by providing the same freshness and crunch a kachumber does. Sambhara made either from cabbage, carrots, beetroots or raw papaya are quite popular in Gujarat. The key to a good sambhara is to maintain the crunch of the vegetables hence it should never be cooked before-hand but just before serving the meal. A wilted and limp looking sambhara is not worth to be put on a plate.
The Raw Papaya Sambharo is always served with Fafda and is perhaps the most widely consumed sambhara of all. Gujaratis love their Fafda- Jalebi and can go to any measures to have their morning dose of this deep-fried strip like snacks made from besan/chickpea flour, salt and carom seeds. The papaya sambhara as a side helps in digesting the heavy farsan we have in the morning as a breakfast.
The humble papaya has wealth of nutrients but does not enjoy a cult status as do other fruits maybe because it is cheap and widely available. A storehouse of Vitamin A and C, heals skin problems, stimulates digestion, is ideal for nursing mothers, it reduces the risk of developing certain types of cancer and has quite a few more benefits. Papaya can be easily called a super-food and we should be eating it on regular basis. We do believe that Papaya has Tamas Guna (hot properties) but adding some lemon juice over the serving will neutralize the hot properties the papaya retains.
Preparing a Sambhara is never a very time consuming affair, it can be stirred up in 10 minutes or less. As an quick snack, I always liked to roll up the sambhar a of the day in a roti. It was a filling and ‘on-the-go’ snack that ways we never had to compromise our play time……
If you have loved the classic Thai Som Tam, I am sure you will like this preparation of Raw Papaya as-well..
Kacha Papaya No Sambharo/Raw Papaya Stir-Fry
Serves – 2
- 1 small raw papaya
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
- 1 spring curry leaves
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- a pinch of asafetida
- salt to taste
- couple of tablespoons chopped coriander
- lemon wedges on side
- Grate the papaya. We will need 2.5 cups of grated papaya.
- Heat the oil in a kadai or deep pan. Turn the flame to medium.
- Add the mustard seeds, once they crackle add asafoetida, chopped chilies and curry leaves. Take care not to burn the curry leaves and chilies.
- Now add the grated papaya, turmeric powder and stir it well.
- Add salt and cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn of the flame and add the chopped coriander.
- Serve with a wedge of lemon on side.