Jack fruit is an excellent source of vitamins and potassium and has good health benefits. Each piece of the fruit or ‘cholai’ as it is referred to is of a beautiful yellow color and can be eaten plain or soaked in honey.The fruit gives out a strong aroma which is not liked by a few. On the contrary the very mention of the fruit and the smell can be so intoxicating, as to tempt you to wards non-stop consumption of the fruit. This jam or Chakka Varatti that is made out of ripened jack fruit forms the core ingredient in making delicious jack fruit based dishes like Elai Adai and Chakka Pradaman [ Payasam]. Refer earlier posts for these recipes.
Ripe Jackfruit Cholais [deseeded & cleaned] – 4 cups
Powdered Jaggery – 2 cups
Ghee – 1 cup
Water – as required
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Dried ginger powder a pinch
Pressure cook the jackfruit with just enough water till they are tender and soft. 3 – 4 whistles should do.
Cool and mash well. Grind to a smooth paste in a blender.
Melt jaggery with just enough water and strain.
Take a heavy bottomed kadai and pour the melted jaggery into it. Let it come to a boil.
Reduce heat completely and slowly add the jack fruit paste, stirring all the time.
Mix thoroughly and add ghee little by little. The mix should come together to form a thick paste, that is dark brown in color.
It is ready when most the moisture is absorbed and it gets a jam like consistency.
Remove and cool. Store in clean dry, air tight containers and refrigerate. Use when required but ensure that you use a dry spoon at all times.
Continuous stirring is required during the making of the jam. The mix is likely to splutter out of the container. Hence ensure your hands are protected from getting bunrt by the hot paste.
The jam makes an excellent side dish for Rotis and Bread varieties.
Add dry ginger powder and cardamom only if required. Some prefer to retain the original flavor.