Monday, June 1, 2015

Jackfruit Mania

Jackfruit Mania
pics: Sanjana Kodical

I know this blog is a little late in the year when the jackfruit season is almost coming to an end. My apologies but better late than never! You can still reap its benefit for another week at least. I have been enjoying the natural sweetness and goodness of this fruit in its different avatars. It’s almost like a summer addiction and I love to talk about it.
Before I continue, let me add that I’ve never been a great jackfruit fan as a kid. I almost hated it. This fruit occupies a special place in a Mangalorean kitchen. It’s a gift of love from anyone who returns from a trip to Mangalore.
Only when I became a nutritionist and started studying the nutritive value of foods that I realized how badly I had treated this rich fruit.  So let’s start with:

Health benefits of jackfruit
-          Instant energizer
-          has potassium which maintains blood pressure
-          Rich source of fiber improves digestion and prevents constipation
-          Antioxidants slow down the ageing process
-          Has vitamin A, a vital nutrient for eye health
-          Calcium strengthens and promotes healthy bones
-          Rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, Niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid and minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium to prevent and cure anemia
-          Vitamin C strengthens the immune system
-          Manganese regulates blood sugar levels in the body
-          Copper keeps thyroid glands healthy
-          Vitamin B6 keeps the heart healthy
-          Can cure ulcers and other digestive system disorders

So, all those who have ignored the jackfruit, please reconsider your stand.

Jackfruit Idly

I have been enjoying the sweet and juicy bulbs of the fruit. But more than that, I have enjoyed experimenting with it. I’m fond of making sooji halwa using pineapple, apple, banana or mixed fruit pulp. Even beetroot! So jackfruit was the obvious choice. And I loved it! So did everyone else at home. It’s made exactly the way we make sooji halwa but in the end I and pureed or finely minced jackfruit. It’s about 200 gm (deseeded) for 1 cup sooji.
Next, I tried Jackfruit Idly. This was a super hit breakfast item. Serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee.

Here’s the link to the recipe:

Next on the list was Jackfruit Paniyavaram. Another one on the hit list! It’s very simple but you need the paniyavaram maker. This one is a multi-tasker. It can be used to make pakoras, vadas, and koftas. Buy the non-stick version if you don’t have one. You can make your paniyavaram using just 1 tsp of ghee or oil. 

Paniyavaram recipe

Whole wheat flour – ¼ cup
Daliya or lapsi (finest variety) – ½ cup
Sweet Jackfruit bulbs – 250 gm
Powdered jaggery – ½ cup (can add lesser to make it less sweet)
Salt – a pinch
Elaichi powder – 1 tsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp

Deseed the jackfruit bulbs
Take them in a food chopper and crush them finely
Mix it with the rest of the ingredients
 Add water to get idly batter consistency
Heat the paniyavaram maker on medium heat
Put 1 drop ghee in each of the depressions
Add a tbsp of the batter in each
Cook on medium heat
When browned on one side, add 1 drop ghee to each of them
Turn and brown the other side

Serve hot with a cup of tea or coffee

Some make jackfruit halwa, jam, chutney and I don’t know what else. But this is all I’ve experimented with.
Don't discard them
And now, if you think the jackfruit seeds are to be discarded, then please don’t. Do I have to add that I used to hate the very sight of those seeds in the curries that my mother used to add to? Of course, they were promptly picked up and thrown out of the pIate. My mom’s protests that they were very nutritious fell on deaf ears. How I regretted this when I read about its benefits. So here we go:
100 g of edible fresh jackfruit seeds has approximately 0.4 g fat, 6.6 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g

fiber, .05 to 0.55 mg calcium, 0.13 to 0.23 mg phosphorus, 0.002 to 1.2 mg iron, 2 mg sodium and 407 g
potassium. Besides, it has vitamin A, thiamine, niacin and vitamin

Uses of the seeds
Fights wrinkles - Dip a seed in cold milk for a while. Grind it well and apply on your wrinkles. Apply
regularly for best results. It is believed to work on wrinkles in just about four-five weeks time.
Glowing complexion - Consumed directly, it prevents constipation because of its high fiber content.
Flawless skin - Soak a seed in some milk and honey and grin to a fine paste. Apply this paste on your face
evenly and let it dry completely. Wash it off to get a flawless skin within minutes.
High in protein - The seeds are high in protein.
Fights cancer - They have lot of phytonutrients that help fight cancer-.
Promotes hair growth - They promote blood circulation. They have high vitamin A content, one of the most important vitamins for hair health as it prevents dry and brittle hair.
Promotes healthy digestion   

I steam them and eat them as a healthy snack. I also make a stir fry. Here’s the recipe:

My next fruity obsession will probably be peaches. I’ve already seen some attractive ones.

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