- Submitted by Dahlia
(Palapazham, Chakka, Fanas, Cutting Jackfruit)
Jackfruit is one of the sweetest and tastiest fruit. In South India, mango, banana and jackfruits are very common. The trio is often referred to as Mukhanigal. People in India enjoy fruits which are naturally sweet and God has blessed us with so many such fruits.
Though jackfruit is mostly eaten fresh, there are various desserts made with this. This is because during its season, there are so many fruits on the trees. Most houses have a jackfruit tree in their backyard. It is not possible to eat all of them. Our great grandmothers found ways to make preserves with this fruit which stays good for up to a year. Throughout the year, this preserve is used to make various dishes like chakka pradhaman, chakka ada, chakka appam etc.
How to choose Jackfruit?
When buying jackfruit, first check its skin color. The jackfruit which has yellowish green skin and has some brown patches are ripe rather than ones which have dark green skin. The ripe ones give out a strong fragrance. When you tap with your fingers, it sounds kind of hollow. The spines on the outside are spread apart. Finally when you press with your hands, it should not be very hard. At the same time, if it is too soft, it indicates that the fruits is rotting. You should be able to slightly press it in.
Video Instruction for Cutting Jackfruit
How to cut Jackfruit?
Usually jackfruits that are fully ripe will not have any sap in it. Most times, it may have little sap that can be very sticky. If you have latex gloves, you can wear it before cutting the jackfruit. Also, it is a good idea to apply some oil to your knife before cutting.
Most often, people in our native place do not wear gloves. So I am going to explain it just the way it is done here. So here are the steps followed.
- First put a plastic sheet or newspaper on the counter top so that cleaning is easier.
- Apply some coconut oil to your palm and also to your knife. Here we have used a big knife that is used to cut heavy things like tree branches, coconut etc. Even a butchers knife or a chefs knife will do.
- Cut the entire fruit into two halves.
- Using a paper towel, clean any sap that might ooze out. This one had very little sap as it was nice and ripe.
- Cut each half into half again. One full jackfruit is usually cut into four quarters.
- Now you have to cut off the middle thick stem using a sharp knife. After that you can remove the individual fruit pods.
- Pull out the individual yellow colored fruit pods. Each one is usually surrounded by thin white strings which has to be removed and discarded. The yellow fruit has to be digged out from between them. There will be a seed inside which has to be removed and then the fruit can be enjoyed. Since I use the seeds in various recipes, I let them air dry and store them.
- After you have removed all the individual fruit pods, you can store it in the refrigerator for upto a week and enjoy anytime.I usually prefer to clean the entire fruit in one go.
- Finally I also want to mention, how the knife and hands are cleaned after cutting the jackfruit. Show the knife over open flame for just few seconds. Then wipe off the knife using a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Apply some coconut oil in your hands and rub all around. Now you can use any regular handwash soap and any sap stuck to your fingers will come right off.
More Jackfruit Recipes