Last Updated : Apr 26,2023

What is Papaya? Uses, Benefits, Recipes with Papaya
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Also Known as
Papaw, Papita, Pawpaw

What is Papaya? Papita

All season, All reason fruit. Deliciously sweet with musky undertones and a soft, butter-like consistency, it is no wonder the papaya is reputably called the "fruit of the angels". Once considered quite exotic, they can now be found in markets throughout the year.
Papayas are spherical or pear-shaped fruits, large, fleshy, hollow berry upto 50-60 cm in diameter and usually weigh from ½ kg to 2 kg. Inside the inner cavity of the fruit are black, round seeds encased in a gelatinous-like substance. Papaya's seeds are edible, although their peppery flavor is somewhat bitter.

The fruit has thin smooth skin. It is dark green in colour initially but as it ripens, it changes to bright yellowish or orange. Inside the thick juicy flesh has a soft melting quality and may be yellow or orange, It has a delicate aroma and delicious flavour.

Enjoy this fruit chopped, pureed, cubed or sliced, whichever way you prefer. It is usually thicky grated in salads and can be thinly grated to make fruit based dips.

Chopped papaya
Papaya should be peeled first using a sharp knife. Take a sharp knife, slice it 1/2 inch from the top and bottom. Cut the papaya into half with a sharp knife. Cut the half portion into another half and remove the seeds from centre and discard them. Place one portion of the papaya on a chopping board with the hollow part facing downwards. Now cut vertically at approx. 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch intervals to form thin or thick slices. Line all these slices together and cut approx. 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch intervals horizontally to get chopped papaya. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "roughly chopped," make the pieces slightly larger.
Papaya balls
Papaya should be peeled first using a sharp knife. Cut the papaya into small half with a sharp chopping knife and deseed them. Now, press the melon baller firmly into the meat of the papaya. Then lift the baller so that it stands straight inside the papaya (as if you were opening a beer bottle with an opener). Then turn the melon baller clockwise using your wrist and pull out to get a perfect papaya ball. Use them in dessert or salad. If you are adding it to a fruit salad, you should do so just before serving as it tends to cause the other fruits to become very soft.
Papaya cubes
Papaya should be peeled first using a sharp knife. Take a sharp knife, slice it 1/2 inch from the top and bottom. Cut the papaya into half with a sharp knife. Cut the half portion into another half and remove the seeds from centre and discard them. Place one portion of the papaya on a chopping board with the hollow part facing downwards. Now cut vertically at regular intervals of desired thickness to form slices. Line all these slices together and cut at regular intervals horizontally to form cubes. They are usually cut into 1 inch cubes or more.
Papaya puree
After peeling the papaya, section it into half and chop it pieces. Blend it into the mixer till it forms a thick and smooth paste. Water is not required to grind but can be added later to thin the consistency. Sugar or honey can be added to sweeten, add as per the natural sweetness of the papaya. Papaya milkshake can be made using the puree or puree can be topped on desserts or custards or a fruit dish. It can also be used as a sauce for ice cream, a topping for pancakes or mixed with yogurt. Pureed papaya added to a marinade will give a tropical flavour.
Sliced papaya
Papaya should be peeled first using a sharp knife. Cut the papaya into half vertically. Place one portion of the papaya on a chopping board with the hollow part facing downwards. Slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe requirement, can be used as a garnish or for sweet recipes.

How to Select Papaya, Papita
Fresh papaya fruit is available year-round in most markets. Select fruits that are mostly yellowish - orange with a tint of green and let them fully ripen at home. If you want to speed this process, place them in a paper bag. When fully ripe, the skin is bright orange. Ripe fruit should be firm yet yield to gently pressure, feel heavy for its size and have smooth skin with no blemishes.

As with most fruits, use your nose. The ripe papaya should have a sweet aroma. Avoid fruits that are overly soft unless you intend to puree them and use immediately. If you want to eat them within a day of purchase, choose papayas that have reddish-orange skin and are slightly soft to the touch. Those that have patches of yellow color will take a few more days to ripen.

Papayas that are totally green or overly hard should not be purchased, unless you are planning on cooking them, or unless you want to use green papayas in a cold dish like an Asian salad, as their flesh will not develop its characteristic sweet juicy flavor.

Papaya nectar is available canned and bottled.

Culinary uses of Papaya, Papita in Indian cooking

Papaya used in Indian Juices, Smoothies

A healthy papaya juice is a Tomato Orange Carrot and Papaya juice which is infused with vitamins A, C and digestive enzymes.

A smoothie deserves to be called a meal in a glass, because it is not only satiating but by virtue of the fruits used, it also provides ample nutrition. This energy boosting Papaya, Green Apple and Orange Smoothie is rich in vitamins and fibre. 

Both pear and papaya are easily available fruits, so combining them together to make a Papaya pear and yogurt smoothie is always a great idea.

Papaya used in Indian salads

Papaya, Cabbage and Bean Sprouts Salad, ably supported by tomato cubes and spring onion greens is perfection incarnate. With a tangy dressing and a crunchy peanut garnish, it simply takes the diner to foodie heaven!

Raw Papaya used in Indian Sabzis

Papaya tarkariRaw Papaya and Cabbage Stir-Fry  is a healthy bengali-style preparation of raw papaya, flavoured simply with tomatoes, ginger and chilli, and tempered aromatically with panch phoron. You will love the traditional yet refreshingly light flavours of this sabzi.

Papaya used in Indian toddler recipes

Papaya Puree for Babies has a large number of valuable nutrients. It improves digestion, and nourishes your baby with vitamin A, so make sure you introduce your little one to Papaya Purée at the right age, to develop an early liking for it. 

" Papayas can be used many diverse ways. They can be relished as it is, added to a fruit salad or to a host of different recipes.
" One of the easiest and most delightful ways to eat papaya is to eat it just like a melon. After washing the fruit, cut it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and then eat it with a spoon. For a little extra zest, you can squeeze lemon or lime juice on top.
" While most people discard the big black seeds, they are actually edible and have a delightful peppery flavor. They can be chewed whole or blended into a creamy salad dressing, giving it a peppery flavor.
" Papaya smoothies are very easy to make. Just blend ripe papaya with banana and your choice of fruits such as passion fruit or orange. Add raw milk or soya milk or yoghurt for additional nutrition and flavour.
" Mix diced papaya, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and ginger together to make a unique salsa that goes great with shrimp, scallops and halibut.
" Season green papaya with cinnamon, honey, and butter. Bake for a delightfully different side dish.
" Fruits that go well with papaya: Mango, kiwifruit, and most berries.

How to Store Papaya, Papita
Ripe papayas should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within one or two days, so you can enjoy their maximum flavor. Papayas will ripen within a few days at room temperature, and even faster if you put them in a paper bag. Once ripe, this fruit will quickly turn to mush if not properly stored. Place the sectioned or half fruit in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and it should last about a day or two.

15 Benefits of Papaya, Papita
1. Low Glycemic Load
Even if the glycemic index of papaya is medium (60), it has huge potential benefits which makes it super healthy to consume. This is because the glycemic load of papaya is only 6.4 for 1 cup of papaya (140 grams) which falls under low glycemic load range fruit.

2. Good for Weight loss
Fruits and vegetables is an important part of a diet when you want to lose few kgs. As 1 cup of papaya is estimated to provide around 44 calories, it is a much better choice over fried snacks. Incorporating papaya in your diet will give you a feeling of fullness since it has good amount of fiber. Thus proven to be a good choice for weight watchers.

Click here to know more about the Health benefits of Papaya, Papita.

Nutrition Information for Papaya, Papita
Nutritional Information for One Cup Papaya Cubes
One Cup Papaya Cubes is 140 grams.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

44 Calories
0.84 grams of Protein
10 grams of Carbs
0.14 grams of Fat

199.5 mg Vitamin C = 498.75% of RDA (about 40 mg)
85.26 mcg of Folic Acid = 46.89% of RDA (about 200 mcg)
0.35 mg of Vitamin B2, Riboflavin = 31.81% of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
932.4 mcg of Vitamin A = 19.42 % of RDA (about 4800 mcg)
1.12 grams of Fibre = 4.48% of RDA (about 25 grams)
15.40 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 4.4% of RDA (about 350 mg)
23.8 mg of Calcium (Ca) = 3.96% of RDA (about 600 mg)
0.05 mg of Vitamin B1, Thiamine = 3.84% of RDA (about 1.2 to 1.5 mg)
0.70 mg of Iron (Fe) = 3.33% of RDA (about 21 mg)
18.2 mg of Phosphorus (P) = 3.03% of RDA (about 600 mg)
3.62 mcg of Vitamin K = 3.01% of RDA (about 120 mcg)
0.05 mg of Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine = 2.50% of RDA (about 2 mg)
0.28 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 2.33% of RDA (about 12 mg)
96.6 mg of Potassium (K) = 2.05% of RDA (about 4,700 mg)
0.11 mg of Zinc (Zn) = 1% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
8.40 mg of Sodium (Na) = 0.44% of RDA (about 1902 mg)

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