Chakka Varatti or Varathiyathu, as known in malayalam, is a sweet dish of Kerala, also called Jackfruit Halwa. ‘Chakka‘ means Jackfruit and ‘Varathiyathu‘ means to cook till all the moisture is evaporated. In Kerala, people make this to preserve the ripe jackfruit, which is produced in abundance and to enjoy it the whole year, making different dishes out of it.
There are two types of jackfruit; one is ‘Koozha chakka‘ and another is ‘Varikya chakka‘ . Usually, we don’t like eating the ripe ‘koozha chakka, because of it’s texture. It’s way more fibrous and so we end up making lot of dishes out of it. This recipe also uses the same.
The original recipe calls for very few ingredients like ripe jackfruit, jaggery and ghee. In this recipe, I have added more ingredients to make it rich. Instead of chopping into small pieces, you can even grind it to a paste and prepare as usual. We usually prepare it in big batches in a heavy bottomed vessel called ‘Uruli’. So, try this and let me know, how it came out for you.
How to make Chakka varatti / chakka varathiyathu / Jackfruit halwa or preserve with step by step photos:
- Here I have used one whole small jackfruit. Oiled the knife which was used to cut and oiled my hands too.
- Deseed the ripe jackfruit bulb. Preserve the seeds. Its recipe will come soon. Chop it in pieces.
- Heat 4 tsp of ghee in a kadhai or thick bottomed vessel. Add the chopped ripe jackfruit. Keep mixing to avoid burning at bottom. Right pic shows how it looks after 15 minutes.
4. Keep mixing till the color changes to golden brown. Add grated jaggery. Alternatively you can make jaggery syrup. Add 1-2 tbsp of water to the said amount of jaggery and heat till it melts and turns to a syrup consistency. Filter and pour to the jackfruit. Mix well.
5. Add rava or rice flour and crushed cardamoms and mix well till combined. Keep mixing for almost 40-45 minutes. Time varies according to the quantity used. The quantity will reduce to a bit. At the end add crushed roasted almonds. Mix well. Turn off the flame. let it cool for some time.
Grease a square or rectangular baking tray with oil or ghee. Transfer the jackfruit mixture to the tray. Spread evenly and press it firm. Run over with a flat utensil to level it. Freeze it for 2-3 hours.
6. Unmould it and cut it in desired shapes. Refrigerate and eat as and when needed. Will stay fresh for an year.
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