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Archive for the ‘Jams’ Category

Banana Jam

Posted by Annita on March 8, 2007

Here’s a delicious and interesting alternative on your toast,the recipe is again from my amma only,which is passed to her from her mother.Back home,this is usually prepared using a special variety bananas called ‘Palayankodan‘.Unlike conventional spreads,this jam is smooth and watery in texture with a deep purple color and it has a sweet-tart flavour.

Banana Jam
‘Palayankodan ‘ bananas

Banana Jam

Banana Jam
Jam made with ‘Palayankodan’ Bananas (which i brought from Kerala)

I’ve tried it with the local bananas(Chiquita) that we get here,the original purple color was not attained ,but it tasted the same.

Banana Jam
Banana Jam & Mayonnaise on bagel- my kids’ choice(made with local Chiquita bananas)

Ingredients:-

Ripe bananas cut into thick slices – 1/2 kg
Sugar – 1 and 1/2 cup (use more or less according to your taste)
Water – approx 1 and 1/2 cup

Method:-

Add bananas and water into a pressure cooker,water level should be just above the banana pieces.Cover and cook the bananas until you hear 2 whistles.

Banana Jam
Banana slices cooked and cooled

When it is cooled,pour the whole thing into a clean muslin or cheese cloth , kept over a bowl.Squeeze the bananas well and collect all the juice and discard the residue.Now pour the juice into a pan,add sugar and heat it on a medium flame stirring in between.When the jam begins to get thick,reduce the heat to low and stir it consistently for few more minutes.Switch off the stove and allow it to cool.

Banana Jam
Banana jam (just before removing from heat)

Banana Jam
Jam when cooled

You have to be very careful with the consistency of the banana jam.Eventhough the jam looks watery while removing from heat,it’ll get thicken as it cools.

There are 2 ways by which you can check the correct consistency of the jam.

1)Just before switching off the stove,take little jam in a ladle and slowly pour it into the pan.If they are falling in two tiny threads,you can be sure that you’ve attained the consistency.Immediately remove the jam from the heat.

Banana Jam

2)Another method is to pour a drop of jam into a steel plate/glass.If it forms into a small pearl without any spreading, then its time to switch off the stove.

Banana Jam

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Posted in Jams | 23 Comments »

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.

Chakka Varatti
Chakkavaratti without adding coocnut

This is my Amma’s recipe and here it goes..

Ingredients:-

Chopped Jackfruit
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

Method:-

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.

Chakka Varatti in progress
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.

Chakka Varatti

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.

Posted in Desserts & Cakes, Fruit Dishes, Jams, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 32 Comments »

Mango Jam

Posted by Annita on March 20, 2006

Now the mango season has arrived and mangoes can be seen in all grocery stores here in U.S .And I got these mangoes on my Saturday grocery shopping from JungleJims International Market.It was so ripe and juicy,that it could not be kept for more than 2 days.So after downing some,I decided to make jam with it.I’ve never tried making jam in my entire life and so was very excited about it.After a long search in google,I got this recipe with no preservatives(I didn’t have any preservatives with me..and i dont know where can I find it in U.S.Can anyone help me with this..pls?) from Goacom.com.And here it is…
Ingredients:-
8 cups mango pulp (Cook the mangoes in some water..Blend it till smooth,when it is cooled )
5 cups sugar
15 cloves
7 or 8 cinnamon sticks of about 2-3 inch
1 tablespoon ginger juice
Juice of 3 sour limes
Method:-
Mix the sugar and pulp in a thick bottomed pan and place on medium heat. Stir constantly till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Then add the spices (cloves and cinnamon), ginger and lime juice.You do not have to break the spices into pieces.So you can easily remove it from the jam when needed.Cool and bottle the jam.

Mango Jam with Bread
Mango Jam & Organic Wheat Bread

What I’ve found interesting about this jam is,it keeps well for a very long time without a preservative and taste does not alter.

Posted by Annita

Posted in Jams, Lil' Milan's Choice | 3 Comments »