News Channel Wion covered Jackfruit in one of their broadcasts and it’s heartening for me coming from the jackfruit place Kerala.
The biggest and probably the most beneficial of all fruits was once a backyard nuisance (as mentioned in the broadcast). It’s true, as I remember from the childhood days.
The Vegan food preference is now taking jackfruit to the world stage. Culinary experts say that it is the most resembling taste substitute to meat.
I am a jackfruit lover. The best is the ripe fruits, but now there are many things to explore such as cutlets, burgers, biriyani etc. made of jackfruit.
This is in addition to the chakka varatty, chakka undas and chakka chips that I have the privilege to make myself.
I am sharing the news channel link. It’s the jackfruit era.
Jackfruit and it’s seeds (Chakkakuru) used to be abundant to the point that many were wasted in Kerala. Not anymore!
It’s difficult to get the superfood jackfruits and the seeds are to be dried and stored differently.
But when it comes to making a dish with jackfruit seeds, the mezhukkupuratty is the default solution.
Removing the skin is difficult. So I pressure cooked the seeds for four whistles, took them out and removed the skin. and cut them into medium sized pieces.
In a vessel, poured 2 tbsp of coconut oil and allowed to heat well. To the boiling oil a tsp of mustard seeds were thrown in. When it crackled added ten sliced shallots, one tsp of turmeric powder and the steamed and cut jackfruit seeds.
Allowed the mix to cook for 5 minutes and added 1 1/2 tbsp of Kashmiri chilli powder, and salt.
Now I did an innovation. Added half a grated coconut and some water for further cooking for 5 minutes. Curry leaves were thrown in and cooked on reduced heat till it turned semi dry.
Delicious Chakkakuru Mezhukkuvaratty is ready.
The jackfruit I got was a bit overripe to eat fresh. And then it’s Vishu and what is a better day to make something good and traditional.
Chakka varatty, the top picture and in process is reduced jackfruit flesh with pure ghee and a spoon of dry ginger powder. When done a little more, it’s an apt filling for Chakka ada or can taken with Puttu and the like. In fact when layered with rice powder for making Puttu, the steamed output will taste better.
The balls below are chakka undas made in the summer of 2018. They are still intact even after these 3 years and I enjoy them occasionally with fresh coconut slices. For unda consistency the Chakka varatty is to be cooked and reduced for another 6 hours.
The varatty I am making is without jaggery. Jaggery is recommended for making undas as it acts as a preservative too.
For a fruit lover like me, oranges and apples are likely items in the fruit basket. But I have taken a conscious decision to try and get what is seasonal and locally available.
Perhaps there’s a scientific explanation as I have read it in some of the diet/ wellness articles. Of course, I didn’t see much of the details on the science behind, but it’s certainly less expensive.
Some of them, like the pappaya and water melon in the picture could be pesticide free also. Though seasonal and locally available, the mangoes and grapes will need that extra washing before consuming.
Including fruits in one’s diet is good for wellness. There’s a tendency to go soft on fruits in the process of avoiding sugar. However, I am of the school considering whole fruits (not in juice form) as good to go for.
I usually break my intermittent fasting with some fruits. This is a major breakthrough as we have a tendency to eat fruits after a meal when the stomach is full. Wellness recommendations are against having fruits after a meal.
A star absence in the picture is jackfruit. This is the season and they are devoid of any chemicals. And I live in Kerala where the availability should be plenty. Most important- I like it very much.
But jackfruit is health food, difficult to pluck from tall trees etc etc and hence one has to take an effort to get to it. Which I must now.
This jackfruit tree is in my sister’s house and it’s a most pleasing thing to see such a relatively small and young tree bearing these giant fruits.
Like coconut oil, jackfruit is also going international. I say going because I consider both coconut and jackfruit native to my childhood environment.
When British Prime Minister Theresa May visited India, the grand dinner menu had jackfruit biriyani in it. Apparently this biriyani is a craze in London restaurants.
Admittedly, it’s not something we have tried. We have been busy with the numerous uses of jackfruit and the tree, like the solid wood, leaves in Ayurveda treatment, fruit from its formation stage to the ripened and even the seeds.
Then the finding that jackfruit cures diabetes! Wow!
So jackfruit biriyani is in the radar, with or without any meat.
And of course, I have to plant a few of these lovelies.
I wrote about the jackfruit that I got from my brother. I cut it to take out the flesh (fruit pods) for enjoying the goodness of this super fruit.
It was not the biggest of the fruits that I handled, but it was just amazing when I counted the pods. There were more than 100 of them.
Usual jackfruit gives about 40 pods. This fruit was special. The entire fruit was filled with juicy, yummy pods.
In Bangalore, one pod is sold at ₹5 a piece, sometimes going upto ₹10. As such the fruit is just valuable.
The seeds inside the pods are also quite big and firm. There are several user with the seeds, making them separately health food.
More and more health benefits of jackfruit is being revealed making it a superfood.
Quite a fruit
We were visiting my brother and he gave me my first jackfruit of the season.
Three years back, I worked on 9 of them making delicacies such as chakka undas (jackfruit balls), chakka chips, chakka ada etc.
The chakka undas, kept in the refrigerator are still so good and I get to have the exclusive delight of eating them with fresh coconut slices.
This one will be ripe in a day or two and I am going to enjoy it as such, the delicious chakka pazham.
I must admit that not everyone is fond of jackfruits. My wife for example and a close friend.
It’s a health food now, controlling blood sugar and delicacies using even the seeds are much sought after.
One of the things I should do now is to plant a few trees so that I can have my own jackfruits in a couple of years.
These jackfruit balls were made in April 2018 and I just took a few for eating with coconut. This is the best way to enjoy chakka undas.
It’s intact, probably tastes better after about 3 years. It was kept in glass jars and in refrigerator general compartment.
I must make new stock in the coming season.
Link to my April 2018 post is here.
I missed the jackfruit season this year, except for a few times that I managed some in Bangalore. That’s when i found this new product.
It’s jackfruit, vacuum fried, retaining the sweetness and feel of jackfruit, except that it’s crisp.
Yes it’s crisp, so crisp that you can be heard in the neighbourhood.
I did try a new innovation, frying jackfruit like banana fritters and it has been quite a hit.
With this lovely product, the opportunities with jackfruit is multiplying. Be it chakka undas, chakka velaichath, chakka chips, chakka fritters, chakka puzhukk and this.
It’s certainly an idea to grow some trees myself. After all it’s now recognised as a health food.