Jackfruit Kheer – Chakka Pradhaman

Chakka Pradhaman or kheer made with Jackfruit
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Pradhamans are payasam (kheer/ thin puddings ) made with jaggery and coconut milk . These can be made with broken wheat , rice noodles (Ada Pradhaman), lentils (Parippu Pradhaman) or fruits like banana or jackfruit. As long as it is not tart or bitter pretty much anything can be made into  a pradhaman. My favorite is ada pradhaman but this , jackfruit pradhaman or chakka payasam,  is a close second.Chakka Pradhaman or kheer made with Jackfruit

Summer in Kerala meant an abundance  of mangoes and jackfruit.  As kids we had  a  lot  of  fun harvesting  both. My grandparent’s house sat on a hill side and only part of the property was visible from the main house – this meant a chance to explore away from adult supervision. It was not an easy thing to get permission from mom or aunt to go off on our own – so these harvest  expeditions were not an opportunity to pass up.

These usually were an adventure,  of  courses there were no tigers where  we  lived, but there  were quite a lot of bandicoots, mongoose and snakes. The bravest among us used to freeze in the tracks after coming upon discarded snake skin. But  there  were  an  abundance of friendly  butterflies,  flowers, birds  and  wild  berries as  well.  And quite often we will will discover  that we  don’t  have  the  right  gear or  that there were no viable footholds on the  way.
Cleaned Jackfruit petals - ready to eat

We  used to  get  back  with a  few  cuts and  scrapes  and  a sizable  load  of  fruits.  The fresh jackfruit petals are very sweet – while the raw ones have a wonderful meaty texture. The raw ones are perfect for making curries or frying while the ripe ones were usually polished off faster than  the  adults  to   clean them up.

A few  of  these  that managed  to  escape  our  attentions  were   turned  into halva (think of thick blocks of fruit leather)  known as  chakka varatty or mixed with rice flour and jaggery and steamed (ada) and served as snacks.   Once the jackfruit season is over we would go searching for the halva and often times polish off the whole box before mom becomes aware of it.

Making jackfruit halva or chakka varatty is a laborious process, but was the perfect way to process the plentiful fruit and save it for the rest of the year. It is this chakka varatty that is usually used to make chakka pradhaman  or  chakka ada for the rest of the year. Refer to the notes below if you want to find out how to make the payasam with chakka varatty . I don’t make chakka varatty but my mom still does whenever she can. The difference between them and now is that she no longer as to hide the boxes from us 😊.

Here we get canned or fresh frozen sweet jackfruit is throughout the year in the Asian stores, and sometimes even whole fresh jackfruit. So this is the recipe for Jackfruit payasam using fresh fruit.

Steps to making Jackfruit Kheer or Chakka Pradhaman
So here are the steps

  • Cook and puree the jack fruit (not in pic above)
  • Melt the jaggery
  • Fry cashew nuts, raisins and coconut pieces
  • Add the puree to the pan roast till almost all the water evaporates
  • Add the jaggery water
  • Add thin coconut milk
  • Bring to simmer and thicken
  • Adjust  sugar  and  add   the thick coconut milk
  • Add the powdered spices
  • Serve with the fried garnishes

The  traditional version  will use  fresh  squeezed  coconut  milk and   is  definitely more  flavorful than  canned  or powdered  coconut  milk. I  like  to add a   good  helping  of  fried  coconut bits  to this  payasam.  It is  adds  nice  contrast  to the   fairly smooth texture.

This recipe is naturally vegetarian , and can very easily be made into vegan. The only  non vegan  component  here is  the  ghee  used  for   frying  the garnishes  and  roasting  the puree.  You  could  easily substitute it  with  coconut  oil  or  dry roast  the  garnishes.

Chakka Pradhaman


Ingredients
  • 500 g Ripe Jackfruit Notes
  • 200 g Grated Jaggery About 3/4 C Use as Needed
  • 1/4 Tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder 2 Pods
For Coconut Milk (See Notes)
  • 2 C Grated Coconut Packed
  • 3 - 4 C Water Use As Needed
  • OR 1 Can Coconut Milk or Equivalent Powder
To Garnish
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Pieces Sliced thin
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp Cashew nuts Halves / broken
  • 2- 3 Tbsp Raisins
  • 1- 2 Tbsp Ghee As needed
Instructions
  1. Place the jackfruit  petals  in a  pot  with 1/2 C  water. Bring  to  boil  over  medium heat. Reduce heat  to low , place the lid on and cook for 5  to 10 minutes.  Let  cool  and  blend  to a  fairly smooth paste. 

  2. Melt the jaggery in  1/2 C  water.   Warm it  until  the  jaggery dissolves  completely.  Strain  and  reserve. 

  3. Warm  the  water for  coconut  milk.   Soak the  coconut  in  warm  water  in batches  to extract 1/2 C  thick milk ,  1 C  Medium  thick milk and   1- 2 Cups f  thin  milk. Reserve (See notes).

  4. Heat a  thick bottomed  pan   and    add  the 1 tbsp ghee  to it .  Fry the  cashew nuts,  coconut  bits  and  raisins   separately . Reserve. 


  5. Add  the  ground  jack fruit  to the  pan  and  saute  it stirring  constantly  to prevent  burning. When  almost  dry add  1/2 t 3/4 of  the jaggery water  to it .  Stir  to mix. Let   it  come  to a  rolling  boil and   allow  the  jaggery  to caramelize  a  little. 

  6. Add  the  thin  milk and  stir well . Let  it  come  to a  slow  boil over  medium heat.  Taste and  add  the  remaining  jaggery water if  necessary.  Boil for  5  to  10 minutes  for  a  syrupy consistency. 

  7. Add the medium thick  milk and  bring   to boil.  Stir  continuously  and  reduce  to   desired   thickness.  

    Reduce  the  heat  and add the  thick milk . Stir  well and  bring  back to a  slow  simmer. Turn off the  heat  and  add  the  spice  powders and a  portion of  the  fried  garnishes.  Stir  and   rest  covered  for  at least  10 minutes. 

  8. Transfer  to serving   dishes,  top with the  remaining garnishes and  serve. 

Recipe Notes
  • I can of   jackfruit  usually yields  around  250 g  yellow petals. 10 - 15  whole  pods. 
  •  For a  detailed  description of  making  fresh coconut milk  for  cooking   click  here
  • When using  canned  milk , dilute 1  tbsp of  coconut  cream  with 1 C  water  to use as  thin  milk.  And use as  full strength  for  thick milk.   
  • When using  coconut  milk powder  follow  the instructions  on the packet  to  make  regular  strength  coconut  milk ,  and  dilute to make  thin  milk. 
  • Using  coconut milk in  stages  gives  it the  characteristic  caramelized  coconut  flavor. 
  • This  payasam has a  fairly smooth  texture.  I  add a  liberal  helping of  garnishes  to add a  textural  contrast.  Use   as  much/less per  your  taste. 

If making the pradhaman using chakka varatty , heat the thin milk and the chakka varaty together stirring often. The heat will melt it and you will end up with a syrupy liquid. In this case you may need little no jaggery and just adjust the spices and coconut milk to taste.

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Jackfruit Kheer - or payasam made with ripe Jackfruit - Chakka Pradhaman

 

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Jackfruit BiryaniJackfruit Briryani 


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