Papaya, Eggplant and Watercress Stew is a meatless stew full of vitamins and healthy ingredients that are good for the body. My meatless Papaya, Eggplant and Watercress Stew is super easy and full of fresh and healthy ingredients that will leave you wanting for more. To enjoy this dish, you will only need rice, roots vegetables or even bread if you are in the mood.
Usually when people hear stew, they automatically think that it contains meat. A stew is defines as a dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in liquid in a closed dish or pan. Nowadays we call stew a dish of meat and vegetables or simply a dish of veggies. Your typical stew has evolved into a marriage of delicious veggies and sometimes the addition of fruits.
My Papaya, Eggplant and Watercress Stew has many health benefits. Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants which prevent cholesterols build up in arteries. It also helps in weight loss, boosts immune system, good for diabetics, protect your vision from degenerating, protect against arthritis, improves digestion, help ease menstrual pain, prevents signs of ageing, may prevent cancer, and helps reduce stress. All that for a fruit! Why not consume it more?
Eggplant, also known, as aubergine, is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and copper. It is also a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Eggplant also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid.
Watercress helps decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion. It also increases energy, and overall lower weight. Watercress contains a very high level of dietary nitrate.
So after sharing all the great benefits of the wonderful vegetables I can also share with you that the best way to enjoy this wonderful dish is not to add any chicken stock or beef stock. Adding a vegetable stock is up to you, but remember that a homemade vegetables stock is the best but again why would you want to use a stock when the vegetables will release their own water/juice. That water/juice will in turn help cook the veggies. Fresh vegetables cooking in their own juices, what better way to consume all the great benefits than with ingredients cooking in their own juices?
If you are looking to add a bit of more flavors in addition to the fresh spices, oyster sauce will add the kick you are looking for. But again, oyster sauce can also not make it for you, that is, if you choose to buy a cheap brand. I suggest if using it, oyster sauce must be added in moderation because it contains quite a bit of sodium.
Papaya, Eggplant and Watercress Stew
- 1 – 1 ½ pound green papaya
- 1 ½ pounds eggplant
- 4- ounce bag or 113 gram watercress chopped
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves chopped
- 1 cup onions sliced
- 1 ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes
- Hot pepper 1 – 2 thin slice, optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce optional
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- Peel papaya, remove membrane and seeds, diced and set aside. Peeled the eggplant and diced small. In a saucepan big enough to fit diced eggplant add enough water to cover. (The diced eggplant will float to the top but that's fine) Bring to a boil and cook until fully cooked.
- In a large heavy bottom saucepan or Dutch oven, heat coconut oil under medium heat. Add diced papaya, garlic, parsley, thyme, onions and let cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add diced tomatoes, hot pepper if using, watercress (chopped) and cook for 7 - 10 minutes.
- When the eggplant is cooked, drain and reserve water. Mash the eggplant with a potato masher and add to papaya mixture. Add hot pepper if using, season with salt and pepper to taste, add lemon juice and oyster sauce if using and let cook for about 3 – 5 minutes. Add about 2 cups of the eggplant water, lower heat and let cook for about 35 – 45 until fully cooked and water has decreased a lot. In the last few minutes of cooking add lemon zest. Serve hot with rice or root vegetables.