Today is the second auspicious Friday of the month of Shraavan. And it just so happened that I got to post a sweet recipe. I am not a very religious person and do not follow all the rituals to the T. But anything that comes with the choice of making mouthwatering food, I am all for it. For me in the end, that is what matters and seems like a fitting celebration. I don’t want to spill too many of my ideologies here and stick to what I know the best, that is the food.
Chakka Varatti or Chakka Varattiyadu is a popular recipe from one of my favorite Indian cuisines – from the land of Kerala. Chakka means jackfruit in Malayalam and being a land that is bountiful of great produce, jackfruit grows abundantly in Kerala . Chakka Varatti is essentially a jackfruit preserve made with jackfruit, jaggery and ghee. During the peak season for jackfruit (that is the summer) when the fruit is in abundance, this jackfruit preserve can be made. Chakka Varatti can be turned into Chakka Pradhaman (a kind of kheer/payasam) or Adai depending on the need. The best part is that the jackfruit preserve stays good for many days and can be quickly turned into a dessert. If you are anything like me, you can have spoonfuls of this amazingly tasty Chakka Varatti as it is too.
I cannot have made Chakka Varatti and made a recipe post out of it, without talking about S aunty. She was our neighbor during my growing up days and my love for cooking should be attributed to her as well. I learnt a number of amazingly simple Kerala (specifically Palakkad) recipes from her, including this Chakka Varatti. As soon as I tasted this jackfruit preserve from her kitchen years ago, I knew right away that this would be a dish that I would make again and again in my kitchen. Although I don’t make it as much as I used to, I still love making a jar of Chakka Varatti when the jackfruits are in abundance.
To make Chakka Varatti | Jackfruit Preserve
What I used –
- Fresh Jackfruit Pieces, 10 large pieces
- Jaggery Powdered, 1 cup
- Ghee, 2 tbsp
- Water, ¼ cup
How I made –
1. Remove the seeds from the jackfruit pieces. Grind the cut pieces of jackfruit smooth in a blender. Set this jackfruit puree aside.
2. In a thick bottomed vessel, add 1 cup of powdered jaggery. Add ¼ cup of water and set it on medium heat. Dissolve the jaggery in the water and form a thick syrup. Continue to cook the syrup on low flame until it is very frothy and thick. When a drop of syrup is touched between your thumb and index finger, a thin string should form without breaking. This is one string consistency.
3. Add jackfruit puree into the jaggery syrup and mix well. At low flame, add 1 tbsp of ghee and stir continuously so that it doesn’t burn at the bottom.
4. On a low flame, keep stirring until the mixture begins to come together and slightly changes color. It is important to stir continuously or else, the jackfruit preserve can burn. Add 1 tbsp of ghee and keep stirring until the jackfruit preserve is thick and comes together as a ball. Remove from heat. On cooling down, the preserve hardens a bit more.
5. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for longer shelf life. Use in the place of other store bought fruit preserves.
- The quality of the chakka varatti depends on how sweet and ripe the jackfruit is.
- Good quality jaggery has to be used which is not pale in color and forms a thick syrup.
- It is not entirely essential to get one sting consistency although that fastens the process.
- The chakka varatti hardens on cooling down, so don’t let it be on heat for long after it begins to come together.
- Ghee acts as the preservative here. I used much lesser ghee as I store my preserve in the fridge.
- Put a clean spoon and store it in air tight container for longer shelf life.
Taking this to Fiesta Friday #133.