Candied Papaya (Halwa Betik)


1.5kg half-ripe papaya, peeled pinch slaked lime paste (kapur)
Enough water to cover papaya


2 cups sugar
100g rock sugar
5 cups water


Cut the papaya into 1.5×2.5cm slices and carve into decorative shapes, if desired.

Dilute the slaked lime in the water and soak the papaya in this solution overnight, to give the papaya a crisp bite. Rinse the papaya thoroughly in water, two or three times and drain.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the papaya for 5-10 minutes. Remove and drain for half an hour.

Boil together the syrup ingredients. Cool until lukewarm.

Arrange papaya in a glass jar, pour in the cooled syrup and cover. The syrup must cover the papaya completely. Allow to soak in the syrup for a minimum of 5 days. Serve as a dessert.



1. To maintain the freshness of the halwa, drain the syrup every two days. Reheat the syrup to boiling point and cool until lukewarm before returning it to the jar. This repeated process of reheating thickens the syrup so the halwa is extremely sweet.

2. Be very prudent with the slaked lime as only a tiny amount is required – the solution should taste only slightly bitter.

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