Saturday, June 9, 2012

Some (Jack)- Fruitful Memories

Recipe: Chakka Ada (Steamed Jackfruit preserve-Rice dumplings)

This time of the year always comes with a lot of nostalgic childhood memories....the months of June, July and August. Well, these are the most awaited months for any child brought up in the middle east..... The time to break for the summer Holidays!!!!!! And that meant 2 long months of celebration in Kerala with all my cousins and relatives.

Well, usually July and August are the celebrated months....... And June was important for me because that was the time when my parents went on a rampant shopping spree and that meant lots of new dresses, new footwears ,new toys and so on. On the day of our trip my brother and me would  hardly stand on our feet with  our bodies exploding with excitement that we end up giving a hard time to our mom :)
I still feel the same childlike excitement even today when I board a flight homeward!!  I guess some things in life just don't change!!

The whole thought of everyone and everything waiting for us there was so exhilarating......
Some of the major highlights were Onam (this is a major Hindu festival in Kerala and almost always fell by the end of august or beginning of September), mangoes, some lovely homemade goodies and savouries, temples, tours, cousins, movies........ and yes jackfruits.....

Actually, July and August (monsoon time in India) are not exactly the right time to get decent jackfruits,summer is the season. But my grandma used to save one or two of last ones just for us.
Though I am not really a jackfruit lover, I do enjoy a few couple of pieces of the fruit because these are something we hardly get back in the Gulf......But what I used to really look forward to were the lovely lovely savouries made from jackfruit. My favorite one was and still is ‘chakkavaratti’ ( a thick,dark brown preserve made with jackfruit, jaggery and ghee). 

Another one of my fav is ‘chakka Ada’ which is another delicious goody made using ‘chakkavaratti’.
These are made by mixing rice powder, grated coconut and jaggery to jackfruit preserve or chakkarvaratti , wrapping them in banana leaves and finally steaming them.  
And I must say that the best chakkavaratti and Ada that I have ever tasted have always been the ones made by my mom and so this recipe comes directly from her :)



Jackfruit preserve - 1 cup
Rice powder - ½ cup ( you will not need the whole measured quantity)
Jaggery - as per need
Grated coconut - ½ cup
Ghee - 1 tbsp or less
Banana leaf/aluminium foil if you don't get banana leaves



Heat ghee in a nonstick pan, add jackfruit preserve in it and stir till it loosens up. This will take around 10-15 mins and is going to be some hard work as the preserve is quite firm and sticky.

Now add grated coconut and jaggery. Jaggery should be added as per the sweetness of the preserve. Mine was quite sweet so I just had to add around half a jaggery chunk. Some preserves wouldn't need any added jaggery and would  be sweet all by itself.

Add rice powder into the hot jackfruit mixture 1 tbsp at a time, checking for the consistency. I added 2 tbsp of rice powder to get a smooth dough slightly loose than the consistency of chapati dough..
Take a banana leaf and cut into small rectangular pieces. Drop around quarter cup of the dough into the banana leaf, flatten it out using your finger and fold the leaf, covering the dough well.
Do this with all the dough.

Now place all the banana leaf parcels in a steamer or in an idli chembu and steam well for around 15-20 mins or until done.

Let the Adas cool slightly before serving. These savouries last for quite a long time on refrigeration.

Note: Jackfruit preserve or chakkavaratti is made by mixing together chopped and boiled jackfruit pieces, jaggery and lots of ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel and cooking by constant stirring until you get a dark brown, thick and sticky mixture that looks a lot similar to our halwa.
This is quite a bit of work and takes more than an hour of stirring :)

Sending this to Julie of Erivum Puliyum for the Kerala Kitchen’s June event.


  1. We have jackfruit over hear but its normally deep fried with a dip in thick batter. The seeds are used to make curries too. This is a new discovery for me but surely its worth the try, being unique and tempting.

    1. Thank u so much 4 the comment and this dish is quite common in Kerala and a fav with most of us :)..... And yes v too make curry with the seed of the fruit.

  2. wow..awesome adas,very innovative..never atsted jackfruit in adas..Lovely entry and Thanx for linking it to Kerala Kitchen:-)

    Ongoing Events at(Erivum Puliyum)-
    1. The Kerala Kitchen(June'12)

    2.EP Series-Basil OR Cardamom