Papayas, not just a salad item

Healthy food

Not just for salads, papaya makes for an interesting item that can be used in savoury items as well as desserts. No denying the fact that in Indian cuisine papaya finds its place in salad plate, but it is widely used in continental cuisine in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

Chef Karan Talwar from Kitchen Kraft Catering Co, says, “Deliciously sweet with musky undertones and butter-like consistency, papaya is one of the king fruits. Mix diced papaya, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and ginger together to make a unique salsa. It goes great with shrimp, scallops and halibut. The fruit makes for an ideal thick soup if you blend it with strawberries and yoghurt.”
But chef Gurmeet Singh from Grills & Platters explains, “Papaya is one tropical fruit which can be made in savoury dishes due to its peppery flavour and crunchy texture. Be it pickle, jam or salads, this versatility mixes well with other ingredients. Green papaya as a vegetable can be turned into pickle. Ripe papaya is also good in tropical fruit salads and puréed in smoothies.”

According to Singh, a good raw papaya can be used in Thai salads by mixing it with meat and pork. “As papaya is very sweet, it needs lemon or lime juice to bring out its flavour. Not only papaya as a fruit, but its peel and seeds can also make a wonderful salsa and dips,” he adds.

Papaya is used to make desserts too. “Like papaya sorbet, papaya mousse, Dessert Papaya Pizza, Paw Paw pudding (Papaya is also known as paw paw, in various other countries), Papaya tart, Papaya kesari halwa to name a few,” says Talwar.

Dr Chirag Sethi, nutrition and fitness expert at Anytime Fitness says, "Refreshingly sweet in taste, papayas are the power booster and fights with many problems in body. This magical fruit will help you stay young, as it prevents signs of ageing. Despite being sweet in nature, papayas are low in sugar content as well as glycemic index. It is an excellent fruit for diabetes patients.

The vitamins and phyto-nutrients present in it prevent from heart disease in diabetes. It helps in digestion too, as it has digestive enzyme and fibre which helps improve the digestive health. As it is rich in fibre, Vitamin C and antioxidants and prevent cholesterol build up in your arteries. "

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