28 June, 2012

Som Tam (Raw Papaya Salad)

Yum yum.

This version of the Thai green papaya salad is has become a family favorite with everyone guaranteed to ask for seconds and even thirds.

We are not alone it seems; all the world loves it too apparently, since it was listed at number 46 on World's 50 most delicious foodscomplied by CNN Go in 2011.

The original, which is in fact pounded lightly in a wooden mortar, usually has either fish paste and brined crab or shrimps and is served with sticky rice. This vegetarian version (which I like much more than the ones with tamarind-dressing that are served in some restaurants), does away with all of that. So much simpler.

Recipe Source:  The Holistic Nutrition and Conscious Kitchen program by Bhoomi Network, where I discovered (and re-discovered)  many, many, amazing, delicious and very do-able treats from their kitchen. If you are ever in Bangalore, and are able to attend any of their events, I'm sure you'll come back inspired and charged, as I did.


Raw Papaya (peeled and shredded) - 1 cup
Raw mango (peeled and shredded) - 1/3 cup (or to taste)
(when mangoes are not in season, substitute lemon juice or amla minced)
String beans (lightly steamed/blanched and chopped) - 7-8 nos
Ripe Tomato (deseeded and chopped) - 2-3 nos
Fresh coriander (finely chopped) - 1/3 cup
Ginger (finely grated) - 1 tsp.
Jaggery (grated or powdered) - 1 Tbs
Red Chilly flakes - to taste (optional)
Green chilly (finely chopped) - to taste (optional)
Roasted Peanuts (coarsely crushed) - 1/3 cup


The Totapuri variety of raw mango is a good one to use, it has a pleasant sweet-sour flavour and is often eaten or used raw. Since I need just half for now, I peel and grate just one side (stopping short of the stone!) and keep the other half in the fridge for later. 

The grater in the picture above is part of a Borner V-slicer that is nearly two decades old and still going strong. The reason I like it is because it grates fine, yet crisp julienne that don't go limp.

The raw papaya gets peeled and grated likewise.  This one didn't have any seeds, if there are any, they can be quite easily scooped off with a spoon and discarded.  I'm pleased to discover that it has a lovely shade of shell-pink inside - some are just plain white. Don't worry about the fluid oozing out, papayas are quite nutritous (the unused part will get cooked in a dal later), though rather bland in taste, they provide a delicious crunchy texture.

Here are all the ingredients lined up. (Not in proportion!)

And here they are all ready to be tossed together in the bowl (in the proportion we like!)

A good mix together, and it's done!

Great as a starter. Even better as a meal by itself.
Truly 'yum-azing'.


  1. Love this. Am planning to try it out. Have a tree loaded with papayas. wish i could pass some on to you:)

  2. Thank you Hema!
    And I would love to have some papaya trees (though I know you meant the papayas!) Sometimes, being an apartment-dweller, I miss having a real garden, although I know of enthusiasts who nurture flourishing papaya trees in terrace balconies.
    But, fortunately, there is no dearth of this fruit both ripe and unripe, organic, naati, hybrid versions, abound in all market-places here. Just a hop, skip and jump away.
    Would love to know how yours turned out. :)

  3. I love the presentation, very neat:) Am a big fan of salads am going to try this one for sure!

  4. Thank you Gauri- me too! I'm have a feeling you'll like this one as well! :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...