Jackfruit is a fruit one either loves or hates. It looks like durian and is sometimes mistaken for one. It can be eaten both raw and ripe. You can prepare side dishes with the young raw jackfuit as they are not sweet. This is considered as the new super food and is called the new vegan sensation. There are recipes calling it a meat substitute. We would never think of it as a meat substitute. There are traditional recipes which taste really well. The fruit is high in fibre.
Jackfruits are grown extensively in the south of India, especially in Kerala. You will therefore find multitude of recipes with both the raw and sweet varieties. Even the seeds of the ripe jackfruit is roasted or added in curries. Cutting the fruit is quite a task. Remember to oil the knife and hand while cutting the whole fruit. It is time consuming but worth the effort. You can even find just the fruit pieces now in stores. When we get the whole fruit my husband cuts it for me. This time, my brother-in-law got the fruit and the family sat together to cut the fruit, while I sat and ate it as it was cut. The ripe jackfruit is sweet almost like honey. Here is a recipe for a jam. You can freeze this jam for upto a year. Whenever required, take a portion to make payasam which will be posted next.
Chakka Varatti (Jam)
- 4 cups ripe jackfruit pieces
- 2 cups natural brown sugar (jaggery)
- 4 tbsp ghee (You can make this vegan by leaving out ghee and adding non dairy butter instead)
- Chop up the jackfruit pieces
- Place in a pan with 1/2 cup water and cook till soft. Or, pressure cook till soft. Cool
- Blend to a fine paste
- In a heavy bottomed pan or uruli, add brown sugar, 1/2 cup water and jackfruit paste
- Keep stirring and cooking
- Add ghee and continue to cook. Keep stirring till the paste amalgamates to form a thick jam. Cool and store in the fridge. I store it in the freezer for upto a year.