What is so special about Kerala Jack Fruit?

Tropical chicken with mashed potato Recipe

There is nothing called Kerala Jackfruit, rather just Jackfruit.

,Jackfruit or Chakka as called in Kerala, is the most popular exotic fruit.

Infact its now accorded the status of State Fruit of Kerala and recognized as one of the popular cultural symbols of the state.

,Jackfruit is widely grown in any tropical country and hence very common in Kerala, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philipines etc.

It was very popular in most of the tropical countries particularly South Asian countries, but the rest of the world knew about this fruit throu2019 Portuguese visits to Kerala.

The very name- Jackfruit is indeed part of original Portuguese name- Jaca which was a corrupt form of Malayalam word- Chakka.

,n,Why Chakka/ Jackfruit is special to Kerala?,The biggest reason- its the best solution for food security.

It traditionally protected Malayalees from hunger even in worst cases of poverty.

, * Jackfruit is widely grown in tropical countries and doesnu2019t need special care or attention.

Once it becomes a proper tree, it has a life of more than 60 years, which one tree alone can sustain a family for their lifetime in general.

n,The very large tree that grows widely in the backyard of the house, providing a good cover, * The biggest advantage is that jackfruit trees produce so many jackfruits at a time.

On average, a jackfruit tree produces nearly 200u2013500 jackfruits in a year.

n, * Each fruit is so huge that it can easily feed a family of 4 to 5 people.

n * Another advantage, every single part of Jackfruit is edible.

Its skin (not commonly used), its flesh and even its seeds.

Its leaves are of high fibre value and good as animal feed.

Its roots are so strong that helps to secure the soil tightly and protect from erosion or similar.

Its trunk is powerful to be made into long life furniture or woodwork.

n * Jackfruit is extremely nutritious and offers a balanced diet just by it alone.

One small slice of the fruit (100 grams) offers nearly 155 calories (more than one Roti which can maximum offer only 100 calories), nearly 40 grams of Carbs, 3 grams of protein (an apple can offer only 1 gram of protein in general) and has almost all vitamins and a decent amount of fibre.

This is the key reason why Jack-fruit itself is called a meal in its own right.

No other fruit offers such huge options as a standalone fruit.

It is so rich in anti-oxidants and its low GI helps to control blood sugar in a big way.

n * And its so flexible.

It can be eaten as a fruit naturally or easily substitute as a vegetable in various dishes.

Its seeds are also extremely tasty and make a good choice for stir-fried dishes (Thoran) etc.

It can easily be made into a dessert or a curry.

It can be easily made as chips or jam (that can easily last more than 6 months in room temperature).

This flexibility often helps people in olden days to depend a lot on jackfruit as a food of all times and in worst cases.

n,Jackfruit fruit pod, which can be taken as standalone fruit,Raw Jackfruit which can be mashed and made like mashed potato/tapioca kind of staple,Jackfruit with lentils curry,Jackfruit seed and Raw Mango curry,Roasted Jackfruit cubes with coconut- Chakka Erissery,Stir fried Jackfruit,Stir fried Jackfruit seeds in coconut paste,Dried Prawns with Jackfruit seeds roast,Steamed Jackfruit cake- Chakka Ada,Chakka Puttu- Steamed Riceflour cakes with Jackfruits,Chakka Idily,Jackfruit roti- flatbread made from Jackfruit flour which is weight loss- high fibre roti,Jackfruit Unniappam- a fried sweet,Chakkavarattiyathu- Jackfruit preserve/Jam that stays nearly an year which is an excellent Jam.

,Jackfruit shake,Jackfruit payasam,Jackfruit chips, * Jackfruit is so heavy.

Infact its the weightiest fruit in the world.

So it canu2019t be stolen or taken away easily unlike mangoes or similar.

Its never grown in an elitist fashion like Mango / Orange orchard etc.

Rather its always seen as peopleu2019s fruit as it wildly grows everywheren * Jackfruitu2019s texture is very unique.

Its flesh texture is much similar to any animal flesh, thus a clear substitute to any Non-Veg food with chunky parts etc.

Infact it can be easily used as a vegetarian substitute to any classic Non-Veg recipe.

n,Masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor highlights how Jackfruit substitute in place of a Chicken in typical North Indian Chicken curry recipe.

, * Its taste is a mixture of many flavours.

Its taste is a cocktail of mango, pineapple, bananas and apples.

Thus it gives a sort of fruit cocktail pleasure while not being too sweet.

n * Jackfruit helps in cleansing bowel movement and often used in Ayurvedic formulations against constipation.

It has huge iron content, perhaps the most among fruits thus purify the blood and increase iron content helping in body immunity.

Its one reason, many blood purifying ayurvedic medicines has jackfruit essence etcn,n,Due to these multiple uses, Jackfruit is often seen as the fruit of all purposes.

,In olden days, whenever there used to be famine or drought, jackfruit helps in combating hunger.

Infact during this COVID season, larger-scale movement of Jackfruits happened in Kerala especially to the coastal side to feed the fisherfolk who were jobless due to lockdown and now clear .