Make delicious jackfruit jam in a jiffy
The English name jackfruit is derived from the Portuguese ‘jaca’, which is derived from Malayalam ‘chakka’. The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a species of the mulberry family (Moraceae) and its fruit, native to southwestern India and Sri Lanka, and possibly east to the Malay Peninsula. The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences 3-7 cm long and 1-2.5 cm broad; the male and female flowers on separate inflorescences. The female inflorescences are borne on thick branches or the tree trunk. The sweet yellow sheaths around the seeds are about 3-5mm thick and have a taste similar to pineapple but are milder and less juicy.
Jackfruit root is a remedy for skin diseases and asthma. An extract of the root is used to treat fever and diarrhoea. Jackfruit provides a good supply of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins.
Westerners generally will find the jackfruit most acceptable in the full-grown but unripe stage, when it has no objectionable odour and excels cooked green breadfruit and plantain. The fruit at this time is simply cut into large chunks for cooking, the only handicap being its copious gummy latex which accumulates on the knife and the hands unless they are first rubbed with salad oil. The chunks are boiled in lightly salted water until tender, when the delicious flesh is cut from the rind and served as a vegetable, including the seeds which, if thoroughly cooked, are mealy and agreeable. The bulbs may then be enjoyed raw or cooked (with coconut milk or otherwise); or made into ice cream, chutney, jam, jelly, paste, “leather” or papad, or canned in syrup made with sugar or honey with citric acid added. If the bulbs are boiled in milk, the latter when drained off and cooled will congeal and form pleasant, orange coloured custard. By a method patented in India, the ripe bulbs may be dried, fried in oil and salted for eating like potato chips.
Now, for a recipe.Jackfruit Jam
Jackfruit flakes: 1kg
Cinnamon: 6 (1” pieces)
Sugar: one-and-a-half kg
Citric acid: 1tsp
Water: 6 cups
Method: Remove the seeds from the jackfruit and cut it into small pieces. Cook them in water just enough to immerse the jackfruit pieces, adding the crushed cloves and cinnamon. When the water boils remove the clove and cinnamon pieces from it. Smash the cooked jackfruit or grind it in a mixer and sieve it. Heat water, sugar and citric acid in a vessel. When it boils, add the fruit pulp into it. Stir continuously. When the solution thickens, remove it from the fire and pour it into a prepared bottle. Cool the jam in the bottle and then store it. To test whether the jam is done, cool the jam on a ladle. If it is cool, the jam should fall from the tilted ladle in flakes rather than in drops.PRADEEP PRASANNAN
Jr. Sous Chef