Papayas


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The PAPAYA is considered a revered fruit by the MAYANS, the indigenous people of South-Eastern Mexico and parts of Central America.  They worship the tree as the TREE OF LIFE, and believe it to be the gift of God because of its many medicinal purposes.
The PAPAYA FLOWER, is rich in Vitamins A, C and E, which make it a good source of dietary fibre.  It is also rich in folate and has antioxidant properties, which is how it prevents cholesterol oxidation.  It can be used in many preventive treatments for ailments like strokes, heart attacks and diabetes-related heart disease.
During the outbreak of DENGUE in Manipur, the leaves of the papaya were made into a pulp and given to dengue patients, as they help REGENERATE WHITE BLOOD CELLS & PLATELETS.  Doctors are now vouching for the healing properties of the papaya flowers.  The juice, from the leaves, works as a real immunity booster. — The FRUIT, whether ripe or raw, is also valued.  The people of Manipur have their version of RAW PAPAYA SALAD, which is called SINGZU.  In upper Assam, raw papaya is an important ingredient used, when cooking DUCK.  A chunk of papaya, in the dish, softens the meat.  It is also used as a softening agent, when cooking MUTTON, and it also gives it a distinct flavour.
SINGZU (raw papaya salad)
Ingredients : 1 whole raw papaya (preferably less than 1/2kg) ; 2tbsp sesame seeds ; 2-3 red or green chillies ; salt and a handful of coriander leaves to garnish.
Method : Peel the papaya and wash under a running tap.  Carefully shred in small pieces and keep aside.  Roast the chillies and fish and mash them together to make a paste.  Add salt.  Roast the sesame seeds and make a paste.  Mix all the ingredients in a plate, garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
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