Food

Chakkappothi has the jackfruit in different flavours

Chakkapothi

Chakkapothi   | Photo Credit: Athira M

Home chef and entrepreneur Rajasree R experiments with the jackfruit

Here is a plump offer for gourmets who relish the many avatars of the jackfruit. From the kitchen of homechef-cum-entrepreneur Rajasree R comes the Chakkappothi — steamed rice and jackfruit dishes wrapped in sautéed banana leaves. There is the quintessential puzhukku, aviyal, thoran and mezhukkuvaratti made of jackfruit seeds and three kinds of pickles in the spread. There is fish curry, dried fish fried and kanthari chutney (bird’s eye chilli) for non-vegetarians.

Rajasree has been manufacturing and marketing value-added products of jackfruit under her brand, Fruit n’ Root for the last three years. “Chakkappothi is the latest addition. Orders have to be placed in advance. I sell not more than 10 packets a day for which I need at least 10 kilograms of the fruit,” she says.

Rajasree R

Rajasree R   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

She usually sources raw jackfruit from her home at Nooranad in Kollam or buy it from a nearby farmers’ bazaar. “The rice is from our farm at Nooranad. There is no compromise on quality as I use homemade curry powders and masala and organic vegetables,” she says.

Rajasree, a postgraduate in economics, took up cooking as a hobby after her marriage. “While living in Mumbai and, later, in Qatar I enjoyed cooking for family and friends. Experiments with jackfruit was not on my platter then. However, my mother used to prepare several dishes with jackfruit. She also used to send me dried jackfruit bulbs and seeds,” Rajasree says.

Gradually, she developed an interest in experimenting with the fruit. “Every part of the fruit can be converted into a value-added product. You can make at least 400 products from it,” she explains.

Healthy alternative

After settling in Kerala, four years ago, she attended a two-day training session on jackfruit processing and manufacturing value-added products at Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kayamkulam. “Actually I wanted to make burger and pasta with the fruit because my children enjoyed them more than homemade snacks and ethnic eats. I felt jackfruit was a healthy alternative to the junk they ate. Although the Institute didn’t have a session on these items, I learnt to make the patty for burgers with tender jackfruit,” says Rajasree, who stays at Kochulloor.

A “big achievement” was making pasta using jackfruit flour. “The pasta is now manufactured at Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) at Sreekariyam in the city. CTCRI has the machinery to manufacture tapioca pasta. I learnt to make value-added products from tapioca at the Institute. Later on, I incubated my jackfruit pasta project and was allowed to use the pasta-making machine there. Now I take processed jackfruit to the Institute to make the pasta,” she elaborates.

Panasamrutham and chakka ada

Panasamrutham and chakka ada   | Photo Credit: Athira M

In addition, she sells chakka ada, jackfruit chappathi flour, value-added products made of tapioca and puttupodi made of jackfruit and rice. Panasamrutham, chakka sadya and traditional sadya are made on order. “Panasamrutham, a tweaked version of the traditional Panchamrutham, is a dessert made with jackfruit, jaggery, ghee and powdered cardamom,” she says.

She has a jackfruit processing unit at Nooranad and also takes classes for Kudumbasree units, residents’ associations, various organisations and groups. “Instead of traditional dishes, these days, many participants want to make pasta, burger, cutlet and shawarma,” she adds.

She also makes banana-based burgers, chocolates, sun-dried fry from banana peel and juice from banana stem. “I want to be known as an ‘agripreneur’ and can’t stop myself from experimenting in the kitchen,” she laughs.

Chakkappothi is priced ₹130 (with fish curry) and ₹100. There is no home delivery. Contact: 9400234877

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 10:44:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/chakkapothi-has-jackfruit-dishes-in-a-wrap/article29109614.ece

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