Because of our trade with ancient pre-Hispanic Malay-Indonesian kingdoms, we were influenced by cuisines from as far away as India and Arabia, namely the use of coconut milk in cooking vegetables (called ginataan). When papaya came, the early Filipinos naturally cooked the green fruit in coconut milk. The result was 'ginataang papaya' which was simply delicious. Today, this dish is very popular in Southern Luzon, Mindanao, Sulu, Palawan, Visayas and Bicol where the trade was the strongest.
Here is my recipe of ginataang papaya:
1 small green papaya (sliced)
1 c thick coconut milk
1 c thin coconut milk
2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions
(use garlic/onion if preferred)
salt, seasoning, chilis
1. Saute leeks or spring onions in 2 Tbsp thick coconut milk. Add papaya, thin coconut milk, salt and seasoning. Cover and cook.
2. When papaya is tender, add thick coconut milk and chilis and cover. Remove from heat. Serve.
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