Monday, March 01, 2010
these days we have papayas galore at home.my wife who runs a home for senior citizens at neral has a passion for floriculture and horticulture.she likes to grow vegetables,fruits and flowers.papaya is one of our favorite fruits.everytime she visits neral,which is atleast once a week,she returns with a carload of papayas after distributing them to the inmates and staff there.this time she brought some real jumbo papayas. they weighed about 2.5 kgs on an average. we shared these with our neighbours and friends and we all so to say had a papaya feast!
a favourite breakfast food in india is a boat of fresh papaya served with a sliced fresh lemon. you are supposed to squeeze the lemon over the papaya and sprinkle the juice all over. papaya is generally eaten as a fruit but one can cook papaya like any other vegetable too. when cooked, green papayas become soft and and sweet.
papaya has a low calorific value but rich in vitamins b and c and it is rich in carotene. it contains lot of water. it is an amazingly rich source of enzymes. enzymes are chemicals that enable the digestion of proteins. papain is the most important of these enzymes. papaya has the property of rejuvenation and helps in controlling premature ageing. unfortunately, papaya loses some of its enzymes when it ripens, so eating them green is ideal. papaya contains arginine which is good for the male fertitlity and carpain which is an enzyme good for the heart. as a juice it is a popular thirst quencher. you can make a good and tasty papaya soup too. even the skin of the papaya is used for external treatment of skin wounds.
when buying papayas select those that have smooth and taut skins.if you cut them, keep them in a fridge.don't buy papayas having wrinkled skins.
eat papayas and be happy! i must recall an incident some twenty years ago when i was returning from bangalore carrying a few papayas from our garden tree. at mumbai airport, my boss had just arrived from new delhi and he called out to me across the baggage conveyer.i went to wish him and on my return found that my papayas were stolen.i lodged a complaint with the indian airlines authorities .they couldn't find it.after a fortnight i received a cheque. they paid me a handsome compensation. you can be sometimes happy when you have lost your papayas !