Most Indian restaurants here in the UK don’t bother with papaya paste. Commercial meat tenderiser is used instead to ensure that their tandoori marinated meat is tender and delicious. Papaya paste is the more authentic way of doing it. It’s a natural meat tenderiser that can be used not only in Indian marinades but any style of marinade. There is very little flavour in the papaya paste but it does do a good job at tenderising meat.
By meat, I mean red meat. I rarely use this on white meat such as turkey or chicken. There’s no need.
You can make papaya paste up to three days before using it though I tend to make it on the same day I begin marinating my meat. It only takes seconds to prepare.
This is good to have on hand when preparing tandoori meat for the barbecue.
This makes enough to tenderise about one to two kilos of red meat such as lamb, beef, venison, horse or zebra. Try to find unripe green papayas for best results.
- 1 large green papaya - skin and all.
- 1 tablespoon (approx. water or vegetable oil)
- Slice the papaya in half.
- Remove all of the seeds from the centre.
- Chop it all up and place in a blender or small spice grinder and blend until smooth. You will probably need to add a drop of water or oil to assist with the blending.
- Cover tightly until ready to us.
Worth a mention: I use a Waring spice grinder for grinding spices and preparing many different pastes. You can purchase one for yourself at Nisbets.