STUFFED PAWPAWS (PAPAYAS)

I often wondered if we can make any recipes out of pawpaw, until I stumbled across this in a Caribbean cook book and I had to try it out. So here it is, a great recipe for you to enjoy.

3 tbsp corn oil
6 spring onions
1 garlic clove
1 fresh red chili
3 ripe tomatoes
3 tbsp sultanas
2 tbsp cashew nuts or peanuts
2 tbsp parmesan or hard cheese
3 pawpaws
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
fresh parsley
lime or lemon

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This dish would traditionally be made with ripe but firm pawpaws which are used as a vegetable in Tobago and Trinidad. In this recipe they are ripe, however, providing a sweet contrast to the filling. It is recommended that you make twice the amount – have half hot today and have the other half cold later with a salad.

Heat the corn oil (or sunflower oil) in a frying pan or skillet, slice then add the spring onions and cook for 2 minutes. Crush and add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the seeds, chop finely and add the chili, plus skinned and chopped tomatoes, sultanas and nuts – cook until the mixture is a thick sauce.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in half the Parmesan grated cheese plus salt and pepper.  Cut the pawpaws in half and remove the seeds, place the halves in a shallow ovenproof dish and spoon in the sauce into the shells. Pour boiling water into the dish to come a quarter of the way up the pawpaws. Mix the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the pawpaws.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F – Gas mark 4) for 30 minutes. Carefully lift the pawpaws from the dish with a draining spoon. Garnish with chopped parsley and a squeeze of lime or lemon.

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