For city dwellers like us, this fruit is hard to come by. Usually we receive it as gifts and tokens of love from my father’s ancestral home. Unlike all others, the pre-processing of this fruit before one starts preparing the dish can be an arduous task. However you wouldn’t believe the fun we had while cleaning it, as a family circle time. Our jobs were to keep an eye on the cleaned fruit bites from the rest of the world. I still remember the juicy details of many stories explored in this circle, with our hands smeared in oil, patiently slicing it down, removing every bit of fibers, revealing the sweetest sensation. By the time, we have conquered every piece of the fruit; we were overwhelmed by its fragrance. The first two days in our home of that following week are enjoyable. We can smell the prepared dishes, a mile from our home. By the third day, we hit a frenetic eating pace of the fruit to avoid being used in every meal of the day.
I wish I could share my package with each one of you. It is tucked into the corner of my refrigerator as my night treat till my father finds another one of his repair ideas!
Chakka-Varatti (Jackfruit halwa) (My Mom's recipe)
What to get:
Jackfruit finely chopped - 4 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
water - 1/2 cup
What to do:
Steam the chopped fruit in a pressure cooker with a small amount of water. Cook jaggery and water in heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat until the jaggery is melted completely. Remove from heat.
Heat a large and heavy bottom pan to medium high heat. Add the steamed fruit, jaggery and saute it till it becomes golden brown. Keep stirring to avoid any lumps. Stir in ghee and continue cooking it until the fruit breaks down , water is evaporated and the halwa thickens. Stir constantly. Remove the pan from heat, when the halwa start seperating from the edges of the pan. Serve hot/cold. I prefer it cold!
My mom usually makes this dish in a special kind of leaf. Needless to mention, the unavailability of Therali leaves (I beleive it is the leaves of cinnamon tree), has driven me to prepare this dish using parchment paper. So here is my entry for JFI – Jackfruit hosted by JugalBandi, a secondary dish, prepared with the help of my mom’s “chakka-vartti”.
Chakka Varatti (halwa) – 1 cup
Rice Flour – 1 cup
Milk – 2 tbsp (if needed)
Coconut grated - 1 cup
Cardamom powder – 2 tsp
Combine flour, halwa, milk, coconut, cardamom powder and knead to a dough.
Divide the dough into 6 portions and mold them into balls (1 inch size). Finely coat the parchment paper with ghee. Divide the parchment paper into equal sized rectangles about twice the size of the balls. Place each of the balls in between the rectangles and flatten it with your hands. Steam it in an idli cooker or a steamer for about 15 minutes. Abracadabra, you got an enjoyable snack from home. Enjoy!
C & J sandwich (Cream Cheese and Jackfruit sandwich)
How about a PB&J sandwich with jackfruit? Another one of my
JFI- Jackfruit entries.
What You need:
Oroweat Country Buttermilk Bread slices – 2 nos
Spread one side of each bread slices with butter. Heat a non stick pan to medium high heat. Place the bread slices , buttered side down and cook to golden brown. Microwave the halwa on high for about 15 – 20 seconds. Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on the other side (not buttered) of one of the bread slices. Similarly spread halwa on the second slice. Carefully assemble the sandwich. Enjoy!