A jackfruit grower of Muliya near Vitla, who has been making jackfruit halwa for the past three years, says the dish is a good value addition to one of the most neglected fruits.
The maker, Venkatakrishna Sharma, sold a sample of two kilograms of halwa commercially for the first time this year to a sweet stall at Vitla. It fetched him Rs. 250 per kg.
Mr. Sharma, who is also the president of Varanashi Jackfruit Growers’ Association, Adyanadkka, told The Hindu that that making the halwa is simple. All it requires is jackfruit bulbs, sugar and ghee. If marketed commercially, jackfruit halwa can overtake the popular wheat halwa in market as it is not hard like the latter. It is the cheapest value addition to the fruit which is wasted by scorers of farmers, he said.
How to make it
He said that making a kilogram of jackfruit halwa requires a kilogram of jackfruit bulbs, 400 grams of sugar and 75 grams of ghee. First put the clean bulbs to a mixer grinder and make its paste. Later bake the paste by mixing ghee for about half an hour, add sugar and continue to bake it for another half an hour. One can notice that ghee separates from the jackfruit solid. The solid is nothing but halwa.
Mr. Sharma said that there is no need to add cardamom or any other spices to add fragrance to the halwa. No need to mix cashewnut pieces. “That is why I said it is the cheapest method of making halwa,” he said. He said that the halwa can be preserved in the open up to a month and in refrigerator up to six months or more.
Vani of the sweet stall at Vitla said her customers liked it. Those who liked it are not the local people as they said they had jackfruit at their homes. The non-growers liked it. It can be marketed well in larger cities like Mangalore, she said.
Mr. Sharma said that another method of value addition to jackfruit bulbs is preserving the bulbs in honey and then eating it in unseasonal times. He said that he has preserved it in honey up to eight months. Probably it can be preserved for longer period, he said adding that his stocks got over by then.
He can be contacted at 08255-205502 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Shree Padre, Executive Editor, Adike Pathrike, a farm monthly, said that he had taken samples of jackfruit halwa made by Mr. Sharma to some places in Vidarbha, Maharashtra sometime ago during a tour. Many people liked it. “It was a big hit there,” he said.
Come July 7, jackfruit growers and jackfruit entrepreneurs will meet at Adyanadkka near Vitla for ‘halasina habba’ (Festival of Jackfruits). The venue is Janata Junior College. As it is Sunday, the organisers are expecting a good crowd of participants and customers. Both the growers and jackfruit entrepreneurs will share their cultivating and marketing experiences and scope for the crop. Scientists from agriculture varsities and institutes will speak. There will be a talk by journalist Shree Padre. There will be an exhibition and cooking competition in making different cuisines of jackfruit. For details, call 08255-270254 or 9448470254.