A preparation unique to Kerala; it can be used as jam or magically transformed to various sweet delicacies. The king of all jams!
Ripe jackfruit pieces – 1 kg
Jaggery – ½ kg
Water – 1 glass (medium)
Preparation Time: 1 hr.
Cooking Time: 2 hrs.
Remove the seeds from the jackfruit and cut the fruit into pieces. Pour 2 glasses of water (enough to build steam to cook the fruit) in the pressure cooker and keep the vessel containing jackfruit in it. Cook the pieces till soft; two or three whistles should be enough. Do not add water to the jackfruit. Cool the jackfruit pieces and grind to a smooth paste in a mixer. Jackfruits vary in texture. Some get easily mashed with cooking but some don’t.
Dissolve the jaggery in warm water. Filter if necessary to remove any dirt or stones. Place a thick-bottomed vessel (preferably uruli) on fire and pour the melted jaggery. Let it come to boil. Add the ground jackfruit paste into the jaggery. Mix thoroughly and remove lumps if any. Keep stirring. Cook this mixture on medium-low heat till the water is reduced.
For longer shelf-life, keep the mixture on fire till the jam is really thick. You can add things such as ghee, grated coconut, dry ginger powder, cardamom powder etc. I prefer not adding anything to the jam. These additions can be done while making different dishes using this jam.
Empty into a dry, air-tight container and refrigerate. Take out small portions when needed.
This is definitely not for the impatient. The mixture bubbles a lot and splashes before solidifying and this can cause burns on your skin. So be very careful while making this. But trust me the taste is worth the effort.
List of accompaniments:
Tastes great with bread, roti or parathas. You can make a wide variety of absolutely delicious and irresistible dishes using this jam, like elai ada (pan poli), payasam, sweet idli etc and many others. I will be posting some of these very soon.
Jackfruit is a very good source of potassium and good source of vitamin C. Potassium rich in jackfruit helps in regulating blood pressure. The fruit also has anti-cancer, antihypertensive, anti-ageing, antioxidant, and anti-ulcer properties.
Summer brings with it loads of ‘sweet’ memories of cuckoos, festivals, temple bells, chenda melam (drums) at distant fields, all laden with the smell of jackfruit. Jackfruit is my favorite fruit and if I had my way, I would have asked God to make them available in plenty all year round. The smell, the juiciness, and the taste of jackfruit is so thoroughly irresistible to me.
When i was 3, my father bought our house in the village named Thekkegramam or The South Village. Next to the bedroom there was a huge jackfruit tree. The tree had not borne any fruit until the time we moved in. That year, the tree produced not less than 50 fruits. My strong craving for jackfruit began there.
Since then it has been a cause of envy of every person who passes through our street. Every jackfruit season, we are thronged by requests for the fruit by neighbors as well as strangers. And the tree bears enough to keep everyone satiated.
I now live in a city where jackfruit is available only in limited places, and yet every summer I venture to far away places hunting for my favorite fruit. Where to find some? Keep roaming in the vegetable markets till the unique smell hits you…
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