Durian cheese pizza, an odorous delicacy | Sunday Observer

Durian cheese pizza, an odorous delicacy

5 September, 2021

Known as king of fruits due to its distinct nutrition and medicinal properties, ‘durian’ is regarded the smelliest fruit in the world. Although many find it an amazing and toothsome fruit, some avoid it due to its reek. As per the Fruit Research and Development Institute of Department of Agriculture, the reason for the pungent odour of durian is the presence of a high amount of sulphur.

Health benefits of durian

Among the medicinal properties of durian, its ability to work as an aphrodisiac is widely known. According to a report issued by Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, durian has following benefits,

Makes you happy and relaxed – as the fruit contains amino acid named tryptophan, when broken down, it gets converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for making a person feel happy and relaxed.

May help regulate blood pressure –durian can help regulate blood pressure as it contains potassium, an electrolyte that helps to maintain blood pressure levels.

Treats insomnia – a high level of melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep cycles, helps improve sleep. Durian contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is required to increase the levels of melatonin.

May help combat skin pigmentation and wrinkles - durian contains more vitamin C than many tropical fruits. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals in the body, which can help reduce the appearance of pigmentation and wrinkles.

May support bone health- the fruit is rich in minerals such as iron, copper and potassium which are essential for maintaining strong bones. A study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information in the United States showed that having a higher iron intake also helps increase bone density. These essential minerals can aid in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Boosts energy – durian is a good energy booster as the fruit contains high level of carbohydrate, it can provide energy.

Consume in moderation

It is intoxicating when eaten too much durian and one and may feel drowsy. Due to this reason, vehicle drivers are advised not to eat durian before or while driving. As reported by BBC, once a person in China who had eaten durian fruit prior, had been stopped by the Police on the suspect of drink-driving. Although the person had failed the breathalyser test, no alcohol had been found in his blood.

Research suggests that durian warms up the body as alcohol. Hence, it is recommended to consume durian in moderation. People in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and China take Durian as a meal. It is also a good Keto diet when taken in moderation which helps shredding body fat.

However, some people are believed to be allergic to this fruit.

Myths and facts

Like for many, myths are associated with durian too. One such myth is that the combination of durian and milk is deadly as it can cause heart attack. Australian based nutritionist Bibi Chia refutes that myth saying that there is no scientific basis to prove such claim. A Singapore based nutrition scientist says that durian is heart-healthy as it contains high level of potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber.

Many believe that drinking alcohol after eating durian is lethal too. Nutritionists debunk the claim while admitting that both alcohol and durian may put the body at discomfort as the body attempts to metabolise both at the same time. Yet, there are no evidence to prove that combining alcohol or soft drinks such as Cola and Soda with durian causes death.

Durian recipes

The Durian season in Sri Lanka has not yet come to an end. We can still see heaps of durian fruits being sold by roadside vendors. Durian is mostly eaten as a fruit and its culinary applications are not widely popular. In Sri Lanka, people hardly prepare dishes using durian fruit. Many dishes such as durian cheesecake, durian pizza, durian cake, durian muffin, durian pan cake, durian smoothie, durian ice cream and durian curry are palatable dishes to try your hands at.

Durian cheese pizza

Ingredients for the dough

  • Flour 250g
  • Dry yeast- 1 ½ tsp
  • Warm milk- quarter cup
  • Sweet yoghurt 1 (85g)
  • Sugar 3 tbsps
  • Salt ¼ tsp or as required
  • Butter 3 tsps

Ingredients for topping

  • Mashed durian meat 250g
  • A lavish amount of mozzarella cheese

(tsp- teaspoon, tbsp- tablespoon)


In a bowl add warm milk, sugar and yeast. Mix well and keep it closed for 5- 10 minutes to rise. In it, add yoghurt and whisk well. Then add wheat flour, salt and butter and mix well. Knead it into a dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.

Close the bowl with the dough with a damp towel for 2 hours. The damp towel prevents the dough from getting dry.

After two hours the dough is risen well. Knock the air out of the dough. Cut off a small piece from the dough. Shape that piece of dough into a ball. Place it in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and rest it for another 15 minutes.

Then in a plain surface sprinkle some wheat flour and flatten that piece of dough.

Poke the flattened dough with a fork to prevent bursting of the surface of bread when it is being baked.

Lay a parchment paper at the bottom of the pizza pan. Oil it with olive oil. Place the pizza dough on it.

Smooth smashed durian over the dough using a back of a spoon. Add a lavish amount of Mozzarella cheese over it and drizzle with some olive oil on top of that.

Pre heat the oven into the highest temperature setting and leave for 10 minutes. Bake the pizza for 10 minutes.