Nixtamalized Papaya and Yogurt

A recipe by Enrique Olvera, taken from Mexico from the Inside Out

Papaya nixtamalizada y yogurt

Serves 4


Honey Ice Cream

1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp (110 ml) dextrose

2 1/2 (77 g) large egg yolks

3 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp honey

Scant 1 3/4 cups (400 ml) whole (full-fat) milk

3 tbsp nonfat powdered milk

1/4 cup plus 1 tsp (65 ml) heavy (double) cream

Nixtamalized Papaya

2 tbsp slaked lime

1 pound (500 g) green Maradol

papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 × 3/4 - 1/8 inch

(3 × 2 × 3 cm) rectangles

4 cups (about 1 l) water

1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar

1 vanilla bean, split


1/3 cup (80 g) all-purpose flour

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch (cornflour)

5 tsp sugar

5 tsp (24 grams) unsalted butter

Roasted Lime Leaves

4 lime leaves

Crystallized Lemon

1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar

Generous 3 cups (750 ml) water

2 lemons

Crystallized Sugar

1/2 cup (100 g) sugar


1 tbsp honey

2/3 cup (160 ml) Greek yogurt


Honey Ice Cream

Place all the ingredients in a pan and heat over medium heat until the mixture reaches 187°F (86°C). Cool and refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain (sieve) and freeze in an ice cream machine.

Nixtamalized Papaya

Dissolve the slaked lime in 4 cups (about 1 l) water in a nonreactive bowl, and soak the papaya for 1 hour. Drain and rinse. Prepare a syrup with the water, sugar, and vanilla bean. Add the papaya to the cold syrup, and cook over medium heat until soft, about 45 minutes. Remove the papaya from the syrup and let cool.


Whisk the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Mix in the butter until large crumbs form. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake in a 320°F (160°C/Gas Mark 3) oven for 10 minutes. Stir and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and pulverize.

Roasted Lime Leaves

Place the leaves in a small pan and roast in a 390°F (200°C/Gas Mark 6) oven for about 20 minutes, or until they burn, but careful not to break the leaves. Cool.

Crystallized Lemon

Place the sugar and water in a pan and bring to 149°F (65°C) over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemons, remove from the heat, and let sit for 3 hours. Drain the lemons, halve them, and discard the lemon pulp. Brunoise the peel.

Crystallized Sugar

Place the sugar in a pan over medium heat and stir constantly until crystallized.

Remove and cool, then process until fine.


Place 2 dots of honey in each bowl and top each one with a papaya rectangle. Place 1 tablespoon of the crumble in the center of each bowl, top with a quenelle of honey ice cream, and garnish with a roasted lime leaf. Next to the ice cream, place a quenelle of Greek yogurt and garnish with 1 teaspoon of the crystallized lemon. Finish with a sprinkling of crystallized sugar over the papaya.


Mexico From the Inside Out

Enrique Olvera is the most famous and celebrated Mexican chef working today. Olvera's restaurant Pujol was ranked #1 in Mexico and #20 in the world at the World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards. This is his first book and the first ever high-end chef cookbook in English on Mexican cuisine. It captures and presents a new contemporary Mexican style of food, rooted in tradition but forward thinking in its modern approach. Olvera has pioneered and defined this new way of cooking and belongs to a global group of gourmet influencers that includes Noma's René Redzepi, Dom's Alex Attala, Osteria Francescana's Massimo Bottura and elBulli's legendary Ferran Adrià.

Olvera rethinks how to use traditional, authentic local ingredients using unusual flavor combinations to create a reinvented way of cooking and eating. Mexico from the Inside Out includes both sophisticated and more accessible recipes to explain Enrique's philosophy, vision, and process. He is fueled by a constant exploration of Mexico's ingredients and culinary history, and inspired by his early family memories about food. This book goes beyond stereotypes to reveal new possibilities of Mexican cuisine, which is now an essential part of the international conversation about gastronomy.