Raw papaya erisherry, a coconut free recipe

raw papaya erisherry
 This month I want to do dishes predominantly from the cuisine from my home state, Kerala. Blessed with lush forests, backwaters and plenty of coconut tree lined beaches Kerala is a tourist heaven. What goes along with all the lovely scenery is, of course, the love for the local cuisine.
 The local cuisine that has been highlighted many a time on my blog leans heavily on the usage of coconut. But, I know a few who are sensitive to coconut and hence avoid this cuisine totally. Hence this erisherry recipe is perfect for them and the others too coz it is, after all, a good swap.
Erisherry is traditionally prepared on feast ( sadhya) days and is a semisolid, preparation. The predominant flavour of the traditional dish is, of course, the coconuts (quite a good amount) that get added with cooked vegetables like raw plantain, pumpkin or papaya. These are absolute favourites among the Kerala tastes as these are easily grown in the backyard. The one with the raw papaya is my absolute favourite.

Now for the swap

I guess it is time to reveal my secret ingredient now… Almonds. Almonds make the perfect swap for coconuts. They have a textural similarity and when roasted give out the aroma similar to coconuts.
On the other hand, I am not so keen on cashew nuts coz they tend to be creamier and make the dish overall more sticky(trust me … I have tried): walnuts, macadamia, pine nuts too wouldn’t work coz my guinea pigs sniffed it and singled it out. So the only one that passed this test and the texture was, of course, the almonds.

Why Raw Papaya?

Raw papaya holds an important place in the Asian cuisine. Known world over for the Thai raw papaya salad, this fruit before it ripens features in many Kerala dishes mostly in a steamed or cooked form. Being readily available the incorporation of this in the local diet indeed is inevitable.
Some of the benefits other than the familiarity which attracts me to this dish  are listed here
  • The enzyme content of papain and chymopapain help to break down the fat and protein content in the diet.
  • With higher potassium content than the ripe papaya, the green ones, therefore, are a superior choice
  • Papaya, widely known as a skin rejuvenator is useful in the green form too.
  • The fibre content aids cleaning of the intestines and
  • Quite a lot of local herbal medicine recommends the use of green papaya in steamed or cooked form for aiding better lactation in breastfeeding mothers.
With these two bonuses teamed together, there is none better than the recipe itself.
For a complete simple meal, this raw papaya erisherry served with steamed rice and rasam tastes phenomenal.
in case you are still looking for the traditional recipe with coconut, take a look at the notes at the end of the recipe details. Here is what it looks like with coconut
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 Till then, Enjoy
raw papaya erisherry

Raw papaya erisherry, a coconut free recipe

A sadhya style recipe made delectable in a coconut free mode
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Course sidedish, Traditional
Cuisine diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, Indian, Kerala, Medicinal, One pot, Pressure cooker, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 5 people


to pressure cook

  • 1 cup tur dal (pigeon pea)
  • 2 cups raw papaya cubed
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

To powder

  • 10-12 almonds roasted
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chilli

to add while mixing

  • 1-2 cups warm water
  • salt to taste


  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chilli


  • Wash and clean the raw papaya. Remove the peel ( a bit thicker as the peel is quite bitter)
  • Core the young seeds by scraping with a spoon and dice the pulp into 1 inch cubes. Set aside two cups of this.
  • Wash one cup of tur dal ( pigeon pea), add three cups of water, turmeric powder and the cubed papaya into the pressure pan.
  • Seal the pressure cooker as per instructions and set on medium heat. Following two whistles simmer for about 7-10 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally and open the cooker.
  • Meanwhile, Into a spice mill add 10-12 roasted almonds, cumin seeds and red chillies. powder them into a smooth finish.
  • Now, add this powder to the cooked vegetable and dal mix.
  • Add salt and warm water 1/4 cup at a time till a thick but scoopable consistency is achieved. Mix well.
  • In a small tempering pan( common in most indian houses, best made of cast iron and well sesaoned) add the oil, mustard seeds, red chiili and urad dal. Set on medium heat and allow the mustard to splutter. Remove from heat and add the curry leaves.
  • Add this tempering to the curry and serve hot with rice or flat breads.
    raw papaya erisherry


For the traditional coconut version, add two tbsp of fresh coconut in the place of the almonds. Also, add 1 tbsp to the tempering and roast well till golden and add that to the final mix.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Poonam Bachhav
6 years ago

Interesting recipe !
Loved the use of almonds to replace coconut..I am sure it must have added a perfect nutty flavour and creamy texture to the dish !

Priya Suresh
6 years ago

Omg, such an aromatic erisherry, and cant beleive its completely coconut free. Seriously almonds gives an incredible thickness to this fingerlicking goodness.

Shobha Keshwani
6 years ago

Simple and so tasty papaya erisherry.

Ritu Tangri
6 years ago

Since in North Indian houses, coconut is not a regular food item, so many a times, I don’t make certain dishes that call for coconut. Use of almonds in place of coconut is a wonderful idea.

6 years ago

Very interesting dish..Awesome and very tempting, nice share 🙂

Soma Mukherjee
6 years ago

Loved the way you have substituted almonds in place of coconut the dish looks fingerlicking good.

Sujata Roy
6 years ago

You transform the raw papya into a rich and flavourful curry. Using almond makes it creamy and delicious. Great share.

6 years ago

I have only ever made Avial with raw papaya and this Erissery is a brilliant idea!

6 years ago

I love papaya but I’ve only ever made salads with it. This recipe is so amazing, so exotic! Can’t wait till I try this out! YUM!

6 years ago

What a unique recipe this is. I have never had raw papaya eriserry. Also was happy to read the benefits of raw papaya . Great share!

6 years ago

Yummy looking chutney. Substituting coconut with almonds sounds like a nice alternative. Wonderful share 🙂

6 years ago

I never heard or tried this dish, sounds healthy and delicious!

Padma Veeranki
6 years ago

Healthy and mouthwatering recipe….I love to use raw papaya whenever I find it in the market, I mostly use it in salads….Substituting almonds for coconut is great idea for people who don’t enjoy coconutty flavour!! Great share!!

6 years ago

Good to know about this erisherry, it might taste good with hot steamed rice. Nice share.

Katherine Fox
6 years ago

Wow! I’ve never seen a papaya recipe like this before and it looks delicious!

6 years ago

I have never cooked with raw papaya and this Kerala sadya style curry sounds just perfect to try first.

6 years ago

What a lovely chutney from raw papaya !!! and the twist of using almonds is interesting too 🙂

6 years ago

Oh my God.. almonds in the place of coconut? though I love coconut, this is a genius swap I will say..erissery looks awesome

priya satheesh
6 years ago

I haven’t tried recipes using raw papaya.. Interesting ! Loved the adding of Almonds.. Healthy and rich !

6 years ago

I never knew any indian recipe that used papaya. This recipe looks very interesting and yummy.

6 years ago

Fantastic recipe.Loved the way you have use Almonds to replace coconut. I am it tasted delicious .

6 years ago

So interesting.. loved the way u replace Coconut.. must be super yummy and creamy..

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