Papaya Lemon Jam

October 8, 2015mayurisjikoni
Blog post


Papaya Lemon Jam is a delicious, pectin free, easy to make condiment. It actually is the best way to use up papaya that is totally bland.

We love to have papaya every day for breakfast. But there are times when papaya is tasteless, bland. And no body touches it! Recently had two papayas that ripened at the same time. One was sweet and one bland. Cut papaya goes all mushy in the fridge if left for over 12 hours. So I decided to make it into a jam. The amount was small and the jam got over within a few days.

Occasionally, I use papaya to make it into a healthy smoothie.


Papaya naturally has a lot of pectin so you don’t need to add any at all. The whole process of making the jam is so easy.


This jam recipe is super easy. Only thing you have to be careful about is not to allow the mixture to burn at the bottom of the pan. Stirring it frequently is important. Adding lemon zest is optional but I recommend it as it adds a wonderful flavour and aroma to the jam. I use lemon juice to give a slight tangy flavour as papaya is not sour or tangy like mangoes, strawberries, etc.


I personally love the flavour of roasted cumin powder on papaya. Therefore, “I thought ‘why not add it to the jam.” And I don’t regret that. If you are not a fan of cumin then go ahead and add cardamom or cinnamon powder.


Not at all. I save bottles or jars. I don’t throw them away, especially ones with airtight lids. Jars in which we buy olives, ready made jams, sauces, etc. are ideal for jams, pickles, etc.



I remember my mum would sterilize the jars in the sun. But there are days when we don’t see the sun. That is when the oven comes in handy. I am not a fan of boiling them in the hot water. Becomes a bit tricky to handle hot jars.

Just before I need to store jam, I heat up the oven to 100-150°C. Arrange the jar upright on a baking tray along with the lid. Allow it to become hot and sterilized for 15 minutes. Or sterilize it in the microwave oven. If you sterilize it the microwave oven then rinse it and sterilize for 30-45 seconds.


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  • Ripe Papaya – use about 1 kg papaya. I got approx 2 cups of papaya cut into medium pieces.
  • Sugar – I have used normal white sugar. You need anyway between ½ -⅔ cups. Depends on the sweetness of the papaya.
  • Lemon – grate the lemon for the zest and keep it on the side. You will need about 2 tbsp of zest and 4 tbsp lemon juice. Therefore the number of lemons required will depend on the size of the lemon.
  • Cumin Powder – I love the flavour of cumin with papaya. You can replace it with cinnamon or cardamom powder.
  • Water – just little is required to get the papaya cooking and mushy.



Papaya Lemon Jam is a delicious, pectin free, easy to make condiment. It actually is the best way to use up papaya that is totally bland.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, condiment
Cuisine International
Servings 1.5 cups


  • 1 kg ripe papaya chunks approx 2 cups
  • ½ -⅔ cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest,grated lemon rind
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ cup water


  • Put papaya chunks, water and sugar in a pan over low medium heat.
  • Mix till the sugar melts.
  • Mash the papaya once it becomes a little soft. I didn't mash it to a smooth puree. I left it a bit coarse.
  • Add the lemon zest and let the mixture simmer over low heat till it becomes thick.
  • Make sure you stir the mixture as you don't want it to stick to the pan or get burnt.
  • The mixture will become thick in about 20-30 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice and cook it for a further 3-4 minutes.
  • Add cumin powder and stir well.
  • Put the jam in a clean sterilized jar.


  • Sterile the bottle in the oven or microwave oven before adding jam.
  • Remove the fibre and seeds well from the papaya.
  • You can add cinnamon or cardamom powder instead of cumin powder.
  • I used only ½ cup of sugar as I don't like overly sweet jams.
  • I store the jam in the fridge as it is hot in Mombasa. In a cooler place will stay at room temperature for a week.
  • Or store it in the fridge.
Keyword papaya jam recipe, papaya lemon jam



A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  • tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • Herbs Spices and Tradition

    October 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Papaya Jam sounds good, here in Calgary, I hardly see papaya in shops. I remember in Kenya, I had four trees of papaya in my kitchen garden.

  • Mayuri Patel

    October 9, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Sadhna, it is a good simple jam. I know papaya is a luxury fruit in the western world, the way blueberries, other berries and cherries are for us in this part of the world.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    October 9, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I have never tried papaya jam, it sounds delicious.

  • Teresa Łabza

    October 14, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Papaya is not very popular where I'm from but I bet this jam is very good. Cumin is an interesting addition, I would like to try this combo 🙂

  • Shunmuga sundari C

    October 16, 2015 at 4:18 am

    I have a Papaya with me.. Will try it 🙂

  • Shobha Keshwani

    May 10, 2022 at 6:51 am

    5 stars
    I have never tasted papaya jam. This is really good. When the papaya is not so sweet we can use it to make jam.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 11, 2022 at 10:29 pm

      Shobha, papaya jam is common in Kenya as we get papaya throughout the year. Try it when the papaya season arrives in Mumbai.

  • Priya Vj

    May 11, 2022 at 8:39 am

    5 stars
    Cumin is an interesting addition to a jam ..have never imagined the flavor of jeera in a jam except for in aam ka chundha . A slice of warm toasted bread slathered with papaya jam is a delight to indulge on a bright and cheerful day

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 11, 2022 at 10:26 pm

      Priya, I add a bit as I love the flavour of papaya and cumin powder. Usually I use bland papaya so have to add some flavour.

  • Mina Joshi

    May 11, 2022 at 9:11 am

    5 stars
    Papaya and lemon jam sounds yum. The Kenyan papaya colour is so vibrant that it makes a beautiful jam, I would eat that jam with toast or on chappatis too. I too make papaya jam but often have to mix it with other fruits as the papayas we get aren’t as colourful and they are often not sweet so adding pears or apricots makes it a bit tastier.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 11, 2022 at 10:24 pm

      Mina,getting good papaya in UK is difficult.

  • Kalyani

    May 15, 2022 at 2:47 am

    5 stars
    we usually make papaya jams at home, and this one with the cumin powder + lemon is a keeper. Loved the tip to sterlise the jars in an oven!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 16, 2022 at 6:15 pm

      Thanks Kalyani, add lemon and cumin, will taste so good. As for the sterilizing, find hot water sterilizing too bothersome.

  • Diane Samson

    August 21, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    5 stars
    Very forgiving. I had less than a kilo and used watermelon and 2 pluots as filler.It turned out delicious with a little Vietnamese cinnamon. Most agreeable recipe ever! Thank you ❤️❤️

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 22, 2022 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you so much Diane for trying out the recipe. Next time I will borrow your idea of adding watermelon.

  • Archana

    October 13, 2022 at 10:49 am

    5 stars
    I always thought we use papaya in mixed fruit only. I quite like the idea of papaya jam. Will be great for the leftover soft papaya in the fridge. Using cumin is something interesting. Thanks.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 14, 2022 at 2:59 am

      Thanks Archana, I always add cumin powder to my papaya. Love the flavour combination.Try it.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    October 13, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    5 stars
    Papaya Lemon Jam sounds flavoursome. Loved the addition of cumin powder in it. I must make this one, a good way to make them eat papaya I guess.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 14, 2022 at 2:58 am

      Thanks Jayashree, usually when a large papaya turns out bland and no one wants to eat it, I either make a smoothie or jam. You’re right that way kids especially enjoy papaya.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    October 14, 2022 at 6:17 am

    5 stars
    My mom made the best papaya jam with our homegrown papayas. I loved them always. I am so curious to make some of this papaya lemon. I am sure to love it, cant wait for jam toasts.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 17, 2022 at 9:26 am

      Seema, the papaya was pretty tasteless and I made it into jam the first time. When I tasted it, I thought it lacked that slight sour taste that jams usually have so added lemon. And it worked well, so that is what I do every time I make the jam.

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