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Indian Tutti Frutti / Home Made Papaya Fruit Candy With Saffron

Do you love those bright colored candied jewel like confectionery, called tutti frutti? As a kid I was crazy about them. But have you ever wondered how this can be made at home ? If yes, here is the short and fun recipe of tutti frutti to try at home.

What Is Tutti Frutti ?

Tutti frutti is  delightful and colorful confectionery candied fruits that can dress up any desserts for any occasions and is ridiculously simple to make at home. That too without using any synthetic colors. All naturals. And full of goodness.

Winter is officially setting in, Christmas season (read baking season ) is closing in and here we present you one of the most fun filled activity that you can enjoy with your kids. That is making candies at home. Sounds awesome , isn’t it ?

Tutti frutti is my childhood favourite and I know many of you love this colorful mix of sugary fruit cubes. Picking up the fruit candies from the fruit cakes, sweet breads and Karachi biscuits, and reserving them like a treasure box of candied jewels  was my favourite way to enjoy those baked goodies. So nostalgic.

What Are Fruit Candies?

Fruit candies are way of preserving the goodness of seasonal fruits and this is a very old traditional practices around the world. The word “Candy ” is a derivative of Sanskrit word Khand – the way we Indians (in ancient times) used to preserve and mold sugarcane and date palm juices in form of jaggery. Given that refined sugar was a prized commodity then.

Preserving the fruits in candy form is an age old tradition in India. Most famous example is Agre ka Petha which is made from white pumpkin / ash gourd.

candied papaya tutti frutti


Which Fruits Are Best for Making Tutti Frutti ?

Tutti frutti can be made from any fruits but  berries suits the most. Specially for people leaving outside India. In India it is mostly made from fruits like unripe papaya, ash gourd or white pumpkin and watermelon rind.

Do you know most of the tutti frutti available in the markets now a days are SYNTHETIC 😱?.

But no worries you can make them at home in Five easy steps.

How To Make Tutti Frutti At Home ?

Cutting the fruit – cut the fruit into small bite size cubes. More precise the cut will be, more photogenic and aesthetic it will look.

Boiling the fruit – boil the cut fruit pieces in water till they become slightly tender and transparent.

Simmering the fruit in sugar syrup – simmer the drained fruit pieces in thick sugar syrup till most of the syrup dries out. Color and flavoring agent is added here in this stage.

Soaking the fruit in syrup – soak the sweetened fruit pieces in colored sugar syrup for 48 hours under refrigeration. This step is to enhance the richness of the color of the candied fruit.

Drying up the candied fruit – last and final stage is to dry the candies till it is devoid of any moisture. After draining the candies well, pat them dry with tissue paper. Dry it further by simply spreading it flat on a plate or dry it in oven. This step will enhance the shelf life of the candied fruits.

Ingredients Requires To Make Tutti Frutti –

Fruit – like unripe papaya, rind of watermelon or white pumpkin or ash gourd.

Sugar – you will need sugar. No substitutions works here.  However you can use leftover syrups also to make candies.

Color And Flavorings – I have used saffron here to color and flavour the candies. I generally do not stock or use food colors. But if you prefer food colors, you can use that. Try gel based colors that works best.

If you are looking to color the candies in natural ways, then you can use beetroot juice for red color, spinach juice for green color, turmeric or saffron for yellow color. A little pinch of turmeric powder works fine to color the candies yellow, but if you use more, you will get a distasteful aftertaste in candies. So saffron is best for yellow color.

Candied Papaya Tutti Frutti

Tutti frutti made with candied papaya is a confectionery that can be used as an embellishment in baked products or in desserts.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soaking Time2 d
Course: Confectionery
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: candied papaya, candy, Tutti frutti
Servings: 200 gm
Author: Sukanya Ghosh


  • 1 Small Raw Green Papaya (2-3 cups cubed papaya)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Water
  • Saffron or food colors


  • Wash and peel the green papaya. Cut it into lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and soft flesh clinging to the seed part, if any.
    Wash again and cut the papaya into bite size small cubes. Try to maintain equal size and proportions.
  • In a pan heat 4 cups water and bring it to the boil. Add the papaya pieces and let it cook on medium low till the papaya pieces are slightly tender and transparent.
  • Meanwhile prepare the sugar syrup. You can use any leftover syrup too.
    Heat sugar and water in a separate pan and bring it to sticky one string consistency.
  • Once the papaya are soft and transparent, drain them from the water and put them in hot sugar syrup.
    Cook the papaya in sugar syrup in low flame till most of the syrup dries out.
  • Prepare the saffron water by soaking the saffron (use 6-8 thread) in 2-3 teaspoon hot water. Add that into the papaya syrup mixture.
    If you are using food colors - Prepare the food colors in separate bowl. Add one spoon syrup too in each bowl. Divide and add the papaya syrup mixture in each bowl.
  • Do not disturb and let the papaya soak the syrup and color for one day up to max 2 days.
    This will ensure the richness of the color. Keep the bowls in fridge.
  • After 2 days, bring them out from the fridge. Drain the syrup if any. Spread the candies thinly on a flat tray. Pat them dry with a thick kitchen towel.
  • Dehydrate the candies. You can dehydrate the candies under sun or air dry it by simply leave it open for 24 hours.
    Or dehydrate the candies in oven. Warm up the oven to 180C and put the candy tray inside the oven.
    Let the candies dry till no moisture is left. This will take around 20 min.
    if requires, check once more and keep it for longer time, reduce the temperature of the oven if keeping it for longer time.
  • Check for the sweetness of the candy, texture (chewy) and moisture. If it is dehydrated properly and enough sugary, then only keep it in airtight glass jar and store it at room temperature.
    If you are in doubt, then do not take risk. Store it in glass jar and refrigerate it.

How Does Tutti Frutti Taste like ?

If properly done, tutti frutti taste similar to gummy bears that is dehydrated, sweet candy with a chewy texture.

How Or Where To Use Tutti Frutti ?

We all have our favourite ways to use tutti frutti. Great as munching snacks too. In India, tutti fruttis are generally used as embellishments in the baked products like Christmas fruit cakes, vanilla cakes which is also called as tutti frutti cake, sweet buns and Karachi biscuits.

Ice creams, sundaes, falooda, custards looks attractive when dressed up with tutti frutti. Pulaos and biryanis looks gorgeous when decorated with tutti frutti. And in a stuffing mixture for meetha pan too.

How To Store Tutti Frutti ?

If tutti frutti is dehydrated properly and devoid of any moisture, then you can store them in airtight container in fridge. Depending upon the sugar content (if it is sugary), you can store them at room temperature also up to one month.

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