I was offered a packet of lassey paun from Ratnapark Paun Bhandar. How could I say no? Later, as I walked down Mangal Bazaar, I caught the sight of lapsi (hog plum) which we adore a lot. When we were kids, we used lapsi seeds make tops. We spent all day making champati-pointed lapsi seed that can rotate for a longer period when twisted.

 

The other day, I scooped out a few melons and papaya for fruit salad but the order was cancelled. I was just playing around when I thought of pan searing the fruits with a hint of salt. Since water melon releases water, the texture was not appealing. Nevertheless, when I added cranberry juice to make a reduction, it exuded a great flavor. I used this reduction for goat ear salad with feta cheese, and it was a miracle. The combination works almost the same magic on your palate as port wine and blue cheese.

The twist came when I decided to take it to lines of lassey paun. I started with lassey paun and added water melon and papaya. Although I had pan seared it earlier, I wanted to use a different approach and put it in the oven just to make it warm. Sadly, the dry heat medium of cooking that ovens employ caused the juicy flavors to be lost. So, I shot the food right into microwave for 90 seconds. On the pan, the combination of feta cheese and mixed fruit reduction brought a perfect balance of salty and sugary flavors. The result was great: preserved food converted into candy. I went further to add flesh of hog plum to provide texture to the sauce.

 

This creation can serve as munchies for cocktails. You can actually prepare it quickly and surprise your friends. This could also be a healthy substitute to marshmallows for kids – something that does not have animal extract. Our lassey paun can be incorporated into some great food, even in curries cooked Thai or Japanese styles. It can be used in cold fruit soup and even in fruit cakes. Possibilities are thousands; it just depends on how we promote our domestic industry for the benefit of our economy.

 

All it takes is a few twists and turns to make great recipes of of what grows in our backyards and fields. I feel sorry when I see people in the country feeding papaya to buffalos in the absence of a proper market or the knowledge of preservation. After all, it is in our hands to ensure that the future is here, not anywhere else.

Ingredients

  •  Lapsi ko paaun – 1 packet
  •  ½ kg watermelon
  •  ½ kg papaya
  •  1 tsp feta cheese
  •  1 cup mixed fruit juice
  •  2 bamboo skewers

 

Method

  • Take the fruits and dice them. If you have a melon scoop, scoop out the fruits in nice round shapes. Place the fruits in iced water.
  • Arrange the scooped out fruits in the skewers along with lapsi ko paaun. Make sure it looks nice.
  • Take a pan. Add the mixed fruit juice followed by feta cheese.
  • Once the sauce is ready, place it in microwave oven for 90 seconds. Take it out and pour over the sauce or serve separate.

 

Chef’s suggestions:

If you wrap papaya, banana and mushroom in paper, they go for longer period in the freezer. You can also squeeze lemon juice on the fruit to prevent it from turning black. Funny yet true: if you place an apple in kilo of potatoes, they won’t sprout. !