Green Papaya is a nutritional mine of bioactive compounds and has multiple therapeutic properties. In India, green papaya is often known as “Amrit Bhandar” that can be translated as a source of Elixir of life. It is highly recommended for weaning babies and can work wonders for lifestyle disorders. Green Papaya is often consumed as a salad in southeast Asia and added to desserts and vegetables across India. It is highly recommended to be added to diets of Diabetics, people suffering from cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and inflammation. Seeds of papaya have been prohibited for young men, women, and expecting mothers as they promote infertility.
Unripe papaya should be consumed by pregnant women in small quantity only as it possesses laxative properties and may induce abortion tendency in some. This effect has been observed in animal studies with concentrated extracts, so small quantity of unripe papaya can be consumed for its nutritional and health benefits.
Green Papaya Nutritional Value
It is a rich source of antioxidants, flavonoids, saponins, and tannins. Nutritionally, it has high amounts of Vitamins C, A, and E and B Vitamins – Pantothenic Acid and Folate. It is also a good source of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. Green papaya contains digestive and proteolytic enzymes Papain and Chymopapain that help to metabolize proteins into smaller amino acids. It is also a great source of Lycopene that fights cancerous cells and promotes biosynthesis of important carotenoids. It contains Carpaine that slows down heart rate and reduces blood pressure. Also, it is a rich source of Fibrin that dissolves blood clots and promotes the quality of blood cells.
Green Papaya Health Benefits
- Anti-Diabetic – helps manage blood sugar levels. It also stops Diabetes related cardiovascular disorders.
- It is a galactagogue and boosts both milk production and secretion.
- Lowers cholesterol and promotes HDL levels. Reduces tendency of strokes by removal of blood clots and lowering down blood pressure.
- Scavenges free radicals due to the high concentration of anti-oxidants. Has anti-cancerous properties and is effective for colon cancer and prostate cancer in specific due to high concentrations of lycopene.
- Helps to fight off inflammation, reduces pain from injuries and helps to recover faster due to a high concentration of proteolytic enzymes.
- Supports gastrointestinal health due to a high concentration of fiber, the presence of bioactive compounds, and digestive enzymes.
- Helps reduce the intensity of inflammation-related disorders such as asthma, arthritis, and skin diseases.
- Boosts the immune system with its rich profile of bioactive compounds and digestive enzymes.
- It promotes the digestive fire – good metabolism and also helps to get relief from metabolic health disorders such as Diabetes, Obesity, and Hypertension.
Green Papaya Recipe – Kofta or Fried Balls
This is a delicious preparation of green papaya that will surely please the kids. Salad may be difficult to consume by the little ones, so a cooked version whether as a dessert or as a curry will work well for them. It can be added to the menu for your get-togethers as it is yummy and super healthy. The downside is that it is time-consuming for multiple steps are involved but is worth it for the taste and nutrition it imparts. This recipe is great for kids, Diabetics, new mothers, people suffering from digestive disorders, and can also be included in cancer patients diet.
We have added oats, semolina, and gram flour (besan) to the batter to make the balls. You can try this with different flours per your choice and taste. You can also replace the flour with freshly ground soaked lentils. This would require pre-soaking of lentils for about 2 hours and then grinding them to a fine paste to make the batter.
Ingredients – Green Papaya Recipes – Fried Balls (Serves 5-6 people)
For the Balls
- 1 Medium-Large sized Green Papaya -washed, peeled, and grated.
- 1 cup Besan or Gram Flour or Chick Pea Flour.
- 2-3 Tablespoons ready to eat Oats
- 1 Tablespoon Sooji or Semolina
- Salt to taste
- 2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 1.5 Teaspoon Amchur (Dry Mango Powder). This can also be replaced with Anardana (Dry Pomegranate Powder)
- 1 inch Ginger – finely grated
- 1 Medium sized Onion – Finely chopped
- Pure Peanut Oil to Fry
- Pinch of Asafoetida
- Little water to make a batter for the balls.
For the Gravy/Curry of Kofta
- 2 Tablespoons Ghee
- 1 Medium Onion – finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
- 1 Inch ginger – finely chopped or grated (optional)
- 3-4 large tomatoes – processed to puree in a grinder
- Salt to taste
- 1 Teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander powder
- 2 cups water
- 1 Small bunch of fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped
Method of Preparation (40-45 mins) – Green Papaya Recipes – Fried Balls
For the Balls
- Wash and peel the papaya. Grate it fine in a food processor or hand grater.
- Squeeze the water out of the papaya and save the water in a bowl as it will be used later. This can be done by squeezing the papaya in a muslin cloth or simply by hands.
- Fine chop rest of the ingredients and add them to the dried papaya.
- Add all the ingredients to a deep bowl and mix them well. Slowly add water while stirring to result in a batter mixture that would drop in lumps when a spoonful of batter is raised to a certain height.
- Heat oil in a deep pan for frying. Again take only the required amount of oil for this preparation. This would help you to avoid any wastage and also save you from reusing the leftover oil (which is bad for the heart due to a high content of unsaturated fats. We will discuss this in another post)
- Make the batter into balls and start adding them to hot oil one by one till the pan has enough balls.
- Now let this batch of balls cook well on medium heat. This will ensure that balls are cooked from inside out and avoid any burnt balls from the outside. High heat sometimes leads to a burnt outside with uncooked insides.
- Start taking them out one by one. Let them cool down. Enjoy with a sauce or your choice or as it is!
For the Gravy/Curry of Kofta
- Heat ghee in a deep pan.
- Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add chopped onion and garlic and let them turn light brown.
- Add turmeric, salt, and coriander powder. Stir for a couple of seconds.
- Add tomato puree and mix with spices. Stir for 5-6 mins.
- Add the water and saved papaya water. Let the soup simmer for 5 mins.
- Add the balls. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with chapati or rice.