Sunday, April 27, 2014

Green Papaya Chicken ( Chicken Tinola)

Green papaya is commonly used in Indian curries. Growing up we had several papaya trees in our yard and my mother often made green papaya curries either by itself or with spinach. I used to hate it then. Now I am rediscovering my taste for green papaya. I like the Thai green papaya salad. I recently came across a Filipino recipe called Tinolang Manok, in which green papaya was used with chicken. I was intrigued. I asked my Filipino friend and she told me that it is commonly used in soup style when one is sick . It is Filipino comfort food and is also called as Chicken Tinola. She also informed me that chayote could also be used instead of green papaya. I had one small green papaya in my fridge and decided to try it. I modified it a little for my hubby's spicy Indian palate by adding green chillies to it. The recipe called for pepper leaves which I didn't have. I used some fresh curly parsley instead. It came out truly delicious! It's easy and quick to make. I would definitely make it again! Here is the recipe.

Servings: 6


Chicken: 1 lb cut into bite sized pieces ( I used thigh pieces)
Green papaya or Chayote : 1 small, peeled , deseeded and diced medium.
Green chillies: 4-6 ( depending on your spice level), slit.
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 medium, chopped
Garlic: 2-3 small cloves, chopped fine
Ginger: 1 inch piece, cut julienne.
Fish sauce: 2-3 tbsp
Parsley: 1 tbsp, chopped ( you could use cilantro, I didn't have any at the time).
Corn starch: 1 tsp diluted in 1/2 cup water.
Water: 3 cups


Clean the chicken pieces and marinate it with salt, pepper and lemon juice for 20-30 minutes.

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic an sauté for couple of minutes until the onions wilt.

Add the chicken pieces and sauté for 5 mins until the chicken is slightly browned.

Now add the ginger ,green chillies, papaya  and water. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. 

Add the fish sauce, corn starch, parsley and cook for 2 more minutes.

Serve hot with rice or bread. You could also eat it like a soup.


Cooking made easy:

Wooden chopping boards should not be left immersed in water. They will absorb the water and expand. Also, do not wash wooden chopping boards in hot water. Use only cold or room temperature water to clean it.

Tip for healthy living:

Ripe papayas when mashed can be used as face masks. They make the skin of the face firm and radiant.

Food for thought:

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. Leonardo da Vinci