Papaya Salad with Tamarind Lime Dressing

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Skill Level
Preparation Time 10 minutes Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 Cost Per Serving $1.53
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1Medium Papaya, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cupRed Onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cupToasted Cashews, Pumpkin Seeds or Dried Coconut
1/4 cupCilantro or Basil (or any fresh herb), roughly chopped
1Red Chili, deseeded and thinly sliced (optional)
1Lime, juice and zest
1 tbspTamarind Puree/Paste
2 tbspHot Water
1 tbspExtra Virgin Olive Oil or Sesame Oil
To TasteSea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  1. ​For the tamarind dressing, put tamarind paste and hot water in a small bowl and mix together with a whisk or spoon until it forms a thinner paste. Add lime juice, zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
  2. Combine the papaya and red onion and dress with the tamarind dressing. Plate and top with toasted seeds or nuts, cilantro and red chilies.


  • ​Christopher Columbus was so enamored with the papaya that he named it “the fruit of the angels”. Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest protein. Papain may help reduce overall inflammation and improve healing of wounds and injuries.  One cup of papaya also provides your daily requirement of vitamin C. Papain and vitamin C play a role in the health of ligaments and joints, and may be helpful for healing sprains and strains.
  • Tamarind pods are filled with sticky pulp that provides a sweet and sour flavor to foods such as chutneys, Pad Thai, and Worcestershire sauce. Animal studies suggest that tamarind can reduce blood sugar and “lousy” LDL cholesterol levels, but research in humans is needed.
  • Tamarind contains antioxidants called phenols that can prevent LDL cholesterol from sticking to artery walls, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Tamarind is rich in thiamin and niacin, B vitamins that are needed to turn food into energy. It is also a source of magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.