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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chakka Varatti: Jackfruit Jam

Chakka, aka Jackfruit, is one of my favorites. This Chakka Varatti is my mom's specialty. My dad simply calls it Jackfruit Jam and that is basically what it tastes like.

Jackfruit is probably not easily appealing to all on account of its strong odor, size-and-shape, and its spiky exterior.

I love whole Jackfruit - everything about it appeals to me - the impressively huge tree, the way the fruits hang in the tree, the spiky green exterior skin, the sticky fibers which are quite useful as glue, and of course the sweet yellow flesh.

My aunts in Hyderabad and Vizag both have Jackfruit trees in their backyard. I feel they are so spoilt sometimes they don't even harvest the fruits... they are quite generous to let the neighbors take the whole ripe jackfruits away during peak season as it is hard to keep up with the bounty.

Anyway, I couldn't let the opportunity pass when I spotted a roadside vendor sitting with a pile of whole jackfruits somewhere in interior south when we were on a road trip recently. The vendor sold the whole fruit, which was about a foot-long and ¾ foot-wide and weighed maybe five kilos, for about 75Rs, am not sure if that is a reasonable local price, but, it seemed worth it.

I like to eat it as-is, but, I wasn't sure if my stomach was up to handling the raw fruit at the rate at which I was consuming them. So, my mom decided to make this Chakka Varatti which can be stored in the fridge or freezer for months at a stretch, and used to make Elai Adai , Chakka Pradaman (recipe to come soon) and other delicacies.

When we were little, we would bring home a whole fruit, once or twice during peak season (March through June), which we would cut, clean and pick out the fleshy sweet chunks, remove the seeds inside and even cook the seeds. But, most vendors do the cleaning and sprucing, and simply sell the flesh ready-to-eat.

Since this is my mom's recipe, and since she doesn't believe in measuring anything accurately, the quantities are approximate.


Basically, pressure cook the jackfruit flesh and smush it to a smooth pulp in a blender or food processor. Simmer this pulp with jaggery or brown sugar in a large pan, the amount is roughly:
1 cup brown sugar per cup of smushed jackfruit pulp. Stir continuously over medium-low heat till it thickens to a spreadable jam consistency and comes together without sticking to the pan.

Allow to cool and store in the fridge in an air-tight container.

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  • At 1:32 AM, Blogger Parita said…

    Wow this is something very new and different, never tasted jackfruit jam before :)

  • At 2:08 AM, Blogger Scorpion said…

    So you are busy blogging. Delicious stuff...mouth watering... appetizing...keep the good word of Indian dishes going around the globe.


  • At 1:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I suggest you add a little Ghee once in a while when stirring it on low flame, so that it does not stick to the vessel (or your hands when you eat it). For the suggested measure, two tablespoons ghee is okay.


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