All About The Traditional Bengali Plastic Chutney
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If you’re not a Bengali or do not reside in Bengal, you would be shocked to know the name of Plastic Chutney. Well, what’s in the name? A name can either give you a full disclosure or deceive you. Plastic chutney is here to deceive you as it does not contain plastic in it.  

Origin Of Plastic Chutney 

Whenever we talk about chutney, Bengalis regard it as being made from a variety of fruits like mangoes, dates, tomatoes, pineapple, etc. However, plastic chutney has a long-lost history which is made of raw papaya. It was and still served as a fixture in catered menus, especially when fruits for making other chutneys are not available in the market. In summer, the chutney that is served at the end of the meal is green mango chutney, in winter it is tomato amshotto chutney and pineapple or kuler chutney for the spring. Since no appropriate fruits were available from the monsoon through the autumn season, what could people consume as chutney during that time? Many choose to use raw papaya and transform it into plastic chutney.   

How Did Plastic Chutney Get Its Name?  

Popular from Bengal, plastic chutney is made using raw papaya and has a sweet flavour and is similar to fruit chutney. If you’re wondering why, it is called plastic chutney, it is mainly because of its appearance. To make it, raw papaya is cut into thin slices and cooked in sugar syrup along with some flavourings. The result is a clear and translucent raw papaya that looks exactly like plastic. It is refreshing, sweet, and loved as a condiment served at the end of the meal.  

Is Plastic Chutney Healthy?  

Raw papaya which is the main ingredient of the plastic chutney is beneficial for health. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that helps aids digestion according to the article named ‘Papaya preparation (Caricol®) in digestive disorders,’ by Neuro Endrocrinology Letters. Besides, papaya helps flush out harmful toxins from the body and promote skin health. To make this chutney healthier, you can reduce the amount of sugar used in the chutney or swap it with jaggery.  

How To Make Plastic Chutney?  


  • ½ raw papaya  
  • 1 cup water  
  • 1 cup sugar  
  • ¼ tsp salt  
  • ½ tsp kalonji seeds  
  • Some cashew and raisins  
  • ½ lemon juice  


  • Wash and peel the raw papaya. Cut it into halves and deseed them.  
  • Cut the papaya into small and thin pieces, as thin as possible so as to attain transparency and plastic-like resemblance.  
  • Add water and bring it to a good boil. Add sugar and mix well. Add everything except lemon juice.  
  • Add the raw papaya slices now. Stir and make sure everything is submerged.  
  • Cover it with a lid and let it cook for a couple of minutes. You’ll see the papaya turning transparent. The papaya will cook until the sugar syrup turns thick.  
  • Add the lime juice and mix well. The lime juice will balance and helps the sugar to not crystalise.  
  • Let it cook for a while so that it thickens and is not runny. Turn off the heat.  
  • Let it cook and serve.