Chakka Vevichathu. The Health Food Jackfruit

Chakka (Jackfruit) vevichathu is officially recognised as health food with virtues including lowering of blood sugar.

In season, Jackfruit is plenty available in Kerala, but it’s only part of the story. It’s not easy to get to the eatable part of the giant fruit, even if you’re lucky to get it down the huge trees.

Ripe Jackfruit is easier to cut, easier only to the raw one. And the raw one is the healthier food and vevichathu, which is part of the original staple food of Kerala is the best.

Our people in the villages have the right tools and skills to rip open the fruit and to get the delicious final cooked product on to the dining table.

But I know, my curiosity and passion for Jackfruit delicacies like chips, unda, ada etc almost died when I struggled with the whole fruit when I made them.

In that backdrop, I was delighted to see this ready made, easy to cook product on the supermarket shelf.

It’s made by a plantation giant of tea gardens and rubber estates. They have plenty of Jackfruit trees and the brand carries it’s weight.

It’s tasty, easy to make and I am happy trying it today. Just put the stuff in boiling water for about 5 minutes and it’s ready.

Great stuff indeed.

Chakka Vevichathu. The Health Food Jackfruit

Jackfruit- From Staple Food to Super Food.

This is ‘chakka puzhukk’, staple food of Kerala village people since old times and now a super food.

Among the benefits, discovered rather recently, the ability to reduce blood glucose levels hit the headlines.

I remember a time when one of the branches of our Jackfruit tree extending to panchayat land bordering the river on the other side, fell down due to heavy and excessive jackfruits on it.

Being on the river bank and so on common land, anybody could have taken 14 or so huge fruits. But nobody bothered as jackfruits didn’t have that demand those days.

But now it’s a much sought after commodity due to it’s tasty options and more importantly the health benefits.

Chakka puzhukk is the most common dish made from the flesh of raw Jackfruit and the ingredients are simple and locally available.

Finely chopped raw Jackfruit (3cups) mixed with some water, half teaspoon turmeric powder and salt are boiled till it’s cooked.

One and half cup of grated coconut, quarter teaspoon cumin seeds, three green chillies and two pods of garlic are crushed together (I used Nutribullet for mild dry grinding).

Add the ground mix to the cooked Jackfruit, mix and cook for a short time on slow fire.

Heat three spoons of coconut oil, put half red onion, 4 shallots, curry leaves and mustard seeds. When it’s brown and done well with bursting of mustard seeds, add the mix to the cooked Jackfruit and mix well.

The super food is ready.

My mother could assemble the finished product into a pyramid shape and make a crater on top with a wooden spoon used for mixing the food.

And then in the crater on the volcanic looking structure, a specially made chicken curry gravy is poured. The gravy is allowed to flow down like lava.

I made a pyramid and pressed the top with an Icecream cup. Instead of a pyramid looking volcanic crater, I got a crater resembling one where a spaceship has landed or a crater on the moon.

Jackfruit- From Staple Food to Super Food.

A Blissful Fruit Season

It’s the best fruit season in Kerala. There are plenty of mangoes and the new health food Jackfruit.

My sister gave me this Jackfruit and the mangoes (in the photo) when I visited her.

The huge mangoes are from her front yard, growing in plenty on the big spread out mango tree. These are the ‘Black Andrews’ variety which are very tasty.

We had a couple of mangoes for consumption, plucked fresh from the tree and cut into small cubes after removing the skin.

Such fresh mangoes give an extra flavour which is from the presence of a little of the sap or the latex under the skin of the mango.

The sap which oozes out when the mango is plucked is bitter and even hurt the skin if you are not careful. Essentially this is the fruit’s defence against attackers like squirrels and bats who try to break them before it’s ripe.

A little bit of this unique taste along with the sweet taste of the mango is a rare experience we miss when we buy mangoes after being stored for a while.

The taste of fresh and ripe mango is something to be experienced.

And I cut the Jackfruit after coming back home. It was a bit too ripe and innovation set in. The result is fresh, all natural Jackfruit ice cream which is healthy and tasty.

The flesh of the Jackfruit is mixed with coconut milk and natural honey and made into a smooth pulp in a Nutribullet.

The mixture is then put into the ice cream trays and placed in the freezer for creamy, yummy, all natural healthy ice cream.

A Blissful Fruit Season