GLOSSARY of my Papayaic version of the Greek Spanakopita.
Spanako in greek is Spinach
Pita – in Greek refers to pie or pastry crust
Pitakis are mini pies or folded triangular like a samosa or rolled like a spring roll.
My first instinct was to name this dis Papitapita as papita in Hindi means Papaya … but I did think perhaps it was a bit corny so decided to go follow the straight and narrow path to title it.
Went grocery shopping and the green semi-ripe papaya was calling out to me – not often do I see it in the store and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to try something new and different….
I’ve tried the Greek Spanakopita when we visited Greece last spring – But I did find that the Feta (pronounced) ) fay-tha to be quite dense and the Fay-tha we got with salads were thick, chunky SLABS not the piddly sprinkle that we get at restaurants here (no offense meant, since when it comes to Mozarella, no other country can be quite as generous with it. My mission, as I’ve expressed many times now, is to take a dish and experiment with it and see if I can make a healthier version of it, using new veggies/ flour and substituting cheese with something else like a few nuts for instance – I must say that this turned out to be far more exciting and tasty than I’d anticipated.
1 large papaya – skinned and grated ( Pick one green on the outside to indicate that it is not fully ripe)
2-4 green chilies (optional)
1 large red onion chopped small
I handful of slivered almonds (crushed)
½ tsp of crushed bay leaves
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp of olive oil
For the wrap I used instead of phylo dough, Kawan Spring Roll pastry – A Malaysian product available in Indian stores and in Asian grocery stores
First remove the wrap from the freezer and allow it to thaw for about an hour
Sprinkle salt on the grated papaya and put in a colander and allow the water to drain for about ½ hour (Unlike other veggies like eggplant, there will not be much)
Set the oven to 400 degrees
In a pan, get the oil hot, add the onions and green chilies and some salt
Add the turmeric and the bay leaves and allow them to cook
Add the papaya and let the all cook together on high flame –keep uncovered
When its starts coming together, add the ground almonds and stir in
On a baking pan, spray some oil spray
To make Spring Rolls
Gently peel a layer of the pastry dough and place on the greases pan
Add a tablespoonful of the vegetable and spread it long leaving ½ inch on each side of the square
Fold in the sides and the top and gently roll all the way down… repeat till you are done
Each roll takes up 1 sheet
For the Pie
Grease a square pan
Add 3 sheets of dough
Spread the papaya evenly in the square – this layer can be about ½ inch thick
Place 2 more squares of dough over the papaya curry
And add the remaining papaya, again spreading evenly
Place 3 more sheets of dough over it
Spray some oil over both and bake for about 15-18 minutes
Serve with ketchup, and some salad
I discovered how very tasty cooked papaya can be – I hope you will too – Until next time, ehfaristo and yassou (thank you and goodbye!) J