Chakkai Varatti / Jackfruit Jam

Chakka varatti is one of the famous kerala recipes with which we can make a lot of dishes. It is actually a jackfruit preserve made with jackfruit, jaggery and ghee and can be stored for an year or one and a half years. I love this a lot and my parents  make sure, this is made every year, especially my appa(dad). Yes, when the season comes, he always keep an eye to get a good jackfruit and make sure he gets it for me and my younger brother. My brother doesnt like the preserve so he chop the fleshy part and mix it with honey and give it to him. And for me it is chakkai varatti. We make this in uruli, traditional vessel used in Kerala to make kheer. Also I love the jackfruit chips and 4 cut banana chips and my dad gets it whenever I want. Also he makes sure to get it whenever he goes to Kerala. Who else other than our parents know what we want.

This time I decided to make this when I got the fruit from my neighbour. Usually I call my amma to ask for a recipe and to clear all my doubts regarding it. Though she is a working lady, she never fails to clear my doubts in cooking. But this time, I didnt call my amma(mom) to get the recipe. I called my appa(dad) instead and was asking for every single step. Starting from chopping the fruit till I completed it, I was calling him again and again and patiently he taught me clearly and small small nuances also. Finally the outcome was awesome. Waiting to give my family the chakka varatti to taste it or in turn the Chakka varatti is waiting for them.

Pheww!!! Very long post after a long time. I am sure my husband will enjoy reading this. Because he always ask me to write a story for every single recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Jackfruit – 4 cups

Jaggery – 3 cups

Ghee – 3 tbsp

  • Cut the jackfruit into half.  Apply coconut oil on your hands and knife and cut the jackfruit.
  • Expose the flesh part and remove it.
  • Remove the seeds from each pulp and the thick skin.
  • Chop the fleshy part into small pieces.
  • Pressure cook the jackfruit adding water two inches below the jackfruit level.
  • Mash the pressure cooked jackfruit well.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the jaggery and little water.
  • Allow the jaggery to dissolve completely.
  • When the jaggery syrup starts to boil, add the mashed jackfruit.
  • Cover your hand with a cotton cloth or wear a gloves while stirring.
  • Mix the jaagery syrup and jackfruit well.
  • Keep stirring continuously until this mixture thickens and leave from the sides.
  • When the bubbles come, add 2 tbsp of ghee. Then keep stirring again and add a tbsp of ghee at the end.
  • Store it in an air-tight container in refrigerator. The shelf life of this will be between 1 and 1 1/2 yrs.
  • You can use this to make Chakka pradhaman, elai adai, etc.,

 

 

 

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Neyyappam/Unni appam

Neyyappam is the traditional sweet recipe in Kerala and Tamilnadu made of rice flour and jaggery. It is also called as rice pancakes. Neyyappam is mainly made on Aavini avittam and Karthigai Deepam. It can be stored in an air tight container for about a week. You can make it in traditional bronze appa kaaral or in non-stick. it is similar to Dutch Aebleskiver.

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INGREDIENTS

Raw rice – 1 cup

Jaggery- 11/4 cup

Cardomom powder- 1/2 tsp

Coconut  – thinly sliced 2 tbsp

Banana- 1

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  • Soak the rice in water for 8 hours/overnight.
  • Drain the water completely and grind it to a nice flour.
  • Take jaggery and add 1/4 cup water to dissolve the jaggery.
  • Strain the jaggery water to remove the dust particles.
  • Pour the jaggery water into the flour and mix well to make a thick batter.
  • Add thinly sliced coconut and cardomom powder. Mix well.
  • Grind the banana and mix with the batter. It helps in making soft appams.
  • Keep Appa kaaral in the stove and add two drops of ghee into each hole and allow it to heat.
  • Now add the batter into the holes and allow it to cook.
  • Gently turn it with a stick to cook the other side.
  • Appam will be golden brown in colour.
  • You can serve it hot or cold. Shelf life will be for three to five days.

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Note: While using bronze appa kaaral you have to use ghee to avoid the batter sticking to the vessel.

When I made in Non-stick Appa kaaral I used ghee only once.

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Ishtu (Vegetable stew)

Ishtu is a stew made out of different colourful vegetables. I used potatoes, carrot, beans and green peas to make this stew. It is a recipe from Kerala. It goes best with Aapam and idiyappam. I came to know about this recipe through one of our family friends.  It can also be served along with roti.


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INGREDIENTS

Coconut milk – 2 cups

Potatoes – 4 small

Carrot – 1

Beans – 5

Green peas – 100 gm

Paneer- 25 gms

Green chillies – 2

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – few

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  • Cut the potatoes as cubes and half cook it so that they remain as separate cubes.
  • Chop the beans and carrot lengthwise. Cook it with enough water in a pan.
  • Cut the paneer into cubes.
  • Take one coconut, grate it and extract milk from it.
  • In a kadai, add 1 tsp coconut oil, splutter mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Once they crack add green chillies and saute it.
  • Now add the half cooked vegetables along with the green peas.
  • Add the extracted coconut milk.
  • Ishtu should neither be too thick  nor be too watery.
  • Add the paneer cubes. Cook it in low flame for 20 minutes.
  • You can feel the aroma of coconut milk and the veggies.
  • Serve it with Aapam, Idiyappam or Chappathi.

 

Note: You can also use carrot and paneer.

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Chadha chadhayam / Idichu pizhinja payasam.

Chadha chadhayam or Idichu pizhinja payasam is the most favoured payasam among Keralites. In Malayalam, idichu means pounding and pizhinju means squeezing. In olden days, the scraped coconut was pounded in mortar since there was no blenders or mixers. Hence the payasam was named like that. The main ingredient in this is coconut milk and the extraction of this milk makes the recipe a complicated one. Once my cousin visited my home and my mom and grandma made this payasam. After tasting this whenever he comes home he will ask to make this payasam. I learnt this recipe from my mom and made this for tamil new year. It came out very well and when I distributed to my neighbour, she asked for one more cup. Once the coconut milk is extracted, this is very easy to make. But you need a lot of patience to do it.

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INGREDIENTS

Rice – 1 small cup

Jaggery – 2 1/2 cups

Coconut – 1

Jackfruit – 5 cholai

Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp

Ghee

Extraction of Coconut milk

  • Scrap the coconut and add 1/2 cup of water. Grind it into a very smooth paste. Now squeeze the ground coconut over the strainer to extract the first milk or onnaam paal. Press the coconut well on the strainer with the hands or spoon. This is the onnaam paal and it is thick. Keep aside.
  • Again add 1 cup of water to the coconut, grind it. Repeat the process of squeezing and pressing to get the second milk or rendaam paal. Keep it separately.
  • Further add 1 cup of water to the coconut and grind it thoroughly. Squeeze it well and this is called the third milk or moonam paal. This will be thin.
  • Donot mix all the three milk together. Keep it in three different containers.

Main step

  • Pressure cook the rice with 3 cups of water(Rice:Water::1:3).
  • Crush the jaggery, add little water to dissolve and strain it to remove the dust and mud. Allow it to boil to avoid the raw smell.
  • Cut the jackfruit into small pieces.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, add third milk, jaggery syrup, rice and allow it to cook and blend well.
  • Once the raw smell goes off add the second milk, cook in low flame for ten minutes.
  • At this stage add the ghee, cardamom powder and the chopped jackfruit. Cook for five more minutes.
  • Finally add the third milk, cook for two minutes and turn off the stove.
  • The yummy payasam is ready. Serve it hot.

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Kerala Kadala curry

    Kadala curry is one of the famous recipes in Kerala. It is served with puttu or Aapam. It also goes well with rotis or chappathis. Usually we make ishtu or Coconut chutney as an accompaniment for Aapam. And my chithappa suggested me that Aapam also tastes best with kadala curry. So this time I opted for this and made at home. Hot and Spicy 😛 😛 😛

INGREDIENTS

Black channa – 1 cup

Onion – 3

Star Anise – 1

Cinnamon – 1

Salt – to taste

Turmeric powder – A pinch

Red chilli powder – 2 tsp

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Coriander seed powder – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – few

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  • Pressure cook the channa with salt, star anise and cinnamon.
  • Drain the water in a separate vessel and keep aside. Use it later for cooking.
  • Chop the onions into small pieces.
  • In a kadai, add oil and splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves. Then add the onions and fry till golden brown.
  • To this add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and coriander seed powder.
  • Saute them for a minute.
  • Then grind 3/4 the of the onions , masala powders and 2 tbsp of the channa into a fine paste.
  • Add htis paste into the kadai. Add the drained water and the channa into it.
  • Close the lid and allow it to cook till the raw smell goes off.
  • Serve with kerala puttu, Aapam, Roti.
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