The Sweetening Jam of Kerala: Chakka Varatti
Chakka Varatti (also called Jackfruit preserve) is a classical and well-known food of Kerala.
The word “Chakka” means jack fruit, and “Varatti” means jam. Chakka Varatti is the food, more likely a dessert, that has jackfruit as the primary ingredient. It also consists of ghee and jaggery.
Contributions of Chakka Varatti
The basic element of the recipe is jackfruit. Jackfruit is a delicious plump fruit. It has many nutrients like potassium, sodium, vitamin A, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin C, iron, and zinc.
Ghee, another ingredient of the recipe, has some good fats that help to cure cough and improves eyesight. And, jaggery prevents constipation, develops a strong immunity, and helps women fight the menstrual pain, cramps, etc.
Recipe of Chakka Varatti:
6 cups Ripened Jackfruit (deseeded and chopped)
2 cups Jaggery
3 tbsp Ghee
- Heat the powdered jaggery with some water till it gets in thick consistent like honey.
- Set it aside.
- Grind the deseeded and chopped jackfruits into a smooth paste. Boil the paste for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the jackfruit puree to the heated jaggery syrup and boil it on low flame for 10-12 minutes to dehydrate the mix.
- In the meantime, when it gets thicker, add ghee and saute well.
- Then, it gets into the form of a sticky jelly. Switch the flame off and let it cool for some time.
While boiling the syrup with jackfruit puree, stand at a safe distance. The puree may sputter a little. Try to choose some nice ripe jackfruits. Use a non-sticky pan to get better results.
Add the ghee only when the mix starts to get thick. Or else, it will be absorbing the ghee in a short period, and you have to use more amount of ghee than expected.
Store it in a sealed container and place it in the refrigerator.
You can use it for 6 to 10 months.
Making Chakka Varatti is a yearly-tradition in Kerala. One of the popular recipes is the Chakka Varatti with ada – a combination of rice parcels with sweet fillings inside. The divine aroma of the dish will spread all over the house.
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