Chakka Varatti(Jack fruit jam)
Posted by Annita on August 19, 2006
Chakka Varatti -A Jackfruit delicacy which is solely associated with God’s own country.Keralites always prefer locally and seasonally available ingredients like plantains,mangoes, jackfruits,coconut,tapioca etc in their regular diet.Variety of delicious dishes can be made using these simple and commonly available ingredients.
My last visit to home was during monsoon,when Jackfruits are seen in abundance.Jackfruits when tender,can be used to make variety of savory dishes and when ripe,can be eaten as a fruit or for preparing a kind of jam called Chakka Varatti.Fully ripe jackfruit pulps along with jaggery and ghee, are boiled for a long time and stirred to remove the water content, to make a thick black paste which can be preserved for over a year.Again this Chakkavaratti is used as a key ingredient in authentic dishes like Chakka Pradhaman, Kumbilappam and Ela Adai .
Eventhough it’s a day long process that demands much patience ,the end product is simply worth it.Believe me,you wont have to regret about the efforts.Chakka varatti is usually made in a traditional “Uruli”.(preferrably copper or bronze ,but people uses aluminium “Uruli” nowadays as it is quite cheap and popular).See more about Uruli in LG’s blog.
Chakkavaratti without adding coocnut
This is my Amma’s recipe and here it goes..
Chopped Jackfruit pulps
Ripe jackfruit pulps chopped fine – 5 cups
Jaggery – 3 cups
Ghee – 1 and 1/2 cup
Grated coconut – 1 and 1/2 cup(Optional)
Water – as needed
Pressure cook jackfruit pulps till soft by adding 1/4 cup of water,and smash it well using a spatula.Then grind it to a smooth paste in a blender,but it is again optional.If you like small pieces in your’varatti’,you dont have to do the grinding part.My amma never does this,but some kind of jackfruits with hard pulps,cannot be smashed easily,then you’ll be forced to do the grinding.
Take jaggery in another pan and melt it by adding little water.Filter and remove any stones from the jaggery liquid.Mix in the jaggery into the smashed jackfruit and turn on the stove.Allow the mixture to cook on medium-low heat till the water is reduced.Add one tsp of ghee and grated coconut ,and stir it again.
Cooking Jackfruit & Jaggery mixture
Remember to stir continuosly and not to increase the heat,to prevent it from sticking to the vessel.Add 1 tsp of ghee,whenever it starts to stick,probably in every 15 mts.Continue the process,until you get a dark brown colored,thick and tight jam.Allow it to cool naturally and keep it in a dry air-tight container. This can be stored for 2 weeks in refrigerator.
For longer shelf life,omit grated coconut from the recipe and make the jam real thick,so that all the water content is removed.If properly kept in an air tight container(with no water) in the refrigerator,this stays for atleast 6 months.You can add grated coconut as and when you consume it.
P.S:-You guessed right,I dont get good jackfruits here and photos are taken in my home.My amma prepared Chakka Varatti for me to carry along after my vacation.She hoped it’ll stay for a year,and its all over within 2 months.