Home-made Papaya-Tamarind Jam

Here’s a fool-proof recipe for a wonderful papaya-tamarind jam you can make yourself.

Home-made Papaya-Tamarind Jam

Here’s a foolproof recipe for a wonderful jam you can make yourself. It has about half the sugar found in most ready-made varieties, and no colorings or preservatives. Home-made jam also makes a wonderful gift to a hostess or friend!

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 60 min
Yield: Makes 1.6 - 1.8kg of Jam



Recycled clean, empty jam jars : 6-7
Ripe papaya, cut into ½ inch cubes : 2 kg (about 3 kg whole papayas)
Organic sugar : 1/2 kg
Jaggery (light brown) : 1/2 kg
10 pods of tamarind (or 150 grams tamarind paste)



  • Peel the tamarind pods, remove the seeds and threads. Boil the fresh tamarind or tamarind paste in 1 cup of water until it is soft. Press it through a sieve to get about ¾ cup puree.
  • Put the jam jars and lids in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. After five minutes, remove the jars from the water with tongs and place them upside-down on a clean cloth. Spread the lids on the cloth to dry.
  • Cut the papayas in half. Remove the peel, seeds, inner skin and stringy bits. Cut the fruit into ½ inch cubes.

Making the jam


  • Put the papaya cubes, jaggery, and tamarind puree in a large, heavy saucepan. Make sure the pan is not too full because the jam will boil up and sputter during cooking.
  • Cook the mixture over medium heat until it begins to foam up. Continue stirring and boiling the jam for about 30 minutes. It will reduce, darken and thicken in this time.
  • Have a glass of cold water ready beside the saucepan, to check if the jam has reached the “soft ball stage”. This means, if you let a drop of jam fall into the water, it will keep its shape loosely until it hits the bottom of the glass. It took us 40 minutes to reach this stage. Check the stage of the jam every few minutes from 30 minutes onward.
  • When the jam reaches this consistency, remove it from the heat immediately. Turn the clean jam jars right side up and use a ladle to pour the jam in, filling the jars to ½ inch from the top. Immediately screw on the lids tightly, using a cloth.
  • Let the jars cool completely. The lids may become concave, as there will be a vacuum effect from the cooling process. You can then wash off any drips of jam and put labels and dates as you wish.
  • Unopened jam will keep indefinitely on the shelf but must be refrigerated once opened.


Editor’s Note: Isha’s latest ebooklet, Food Body, looks at the kind of foods the body is most comfortable with and explores the most appropriate ways of consuming such foods. The 33-page booklet is a first step to tune into your body and figure out what suits it best. The book is available on a “name your price” basis. Pay what you want and download it.

Food Body