Friday, April 21, 2006

Chakka pradhaman a.k.a Jackfruit payasam

This is a dish we make for naivedhyam for Vishu. Since my grandparents are from Palghat, my family has had a long-standing tradition of making a lot of keralite brahmin dishes.

I searched high and low for a good, ripe jackfruit in San Jose. I did not succeed. For the payasam, the jackfruit should be at the peak of ripeness. I was forced to use canned slices. The recipe is slightly more work because the chakka varatti or jam has to be made at least one day before. But this microwave version is a lot easier than sauteeing it on stove-top. If you choose to make it in the MW, that means I have saved you from lot of splattering on your hands and stove.

Part 1: Make varatti or jackfruit jam

2 cans jackfruit or 10 slices (pressure cook until very soft)
Powdered jaggery
1 -2 T fresh grated coconut
1 tsp cardamom
2 tsp ghee

Grind the jackfruit with no water into a very smooth paste. Measure the paste. Take equal quantity of powdered jaggery in a saucepan. Add 2-3 T water and let jaggery melt. Filter scum in jaggery. Mix paste with jaggery. Now transfer to a ceramic mw-safe container that has been greased with ghee. Microwave for about 8-10 min on high, stirring every 2 min. You should get the consistency of wheat halwa. When it is just shy of reaching that stage, add coconut and ghee. Mix and let it cook until done. Lastly, mix in ground cardamom. You can cool this paste and store it in refrigerator for 2 weeks. If you do not add coconut, it can be frozen and stored longer. You can also make this into a drier paste. Then it can be used only for payasam. This makes about 2 cups varatti.

Uses of varatti: We eat it like jam with adai and bread. Besides payasam, we use it to make elai adai. We also eat it like a halwa (you have to reduce jaggery if you want to eat as is).

Chakka payasam

1/2 cup chakka varatti
2 T jaggery
1/4 cup water
2 cups thick coconut milk
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 T coconut bits, fried in ghee (can also add cashew)

Melt jaggery in water and remove scum. Add varatti and let it soften into a sauce. When this mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and add coconut milk. Let it come to a simmer. This requires constant stirring to prevent coconut milk from curdling. Turn off heat, add cardamom and coconut bits.

This is a decadent dish for jackfruit lovers. For an easier jackfruit payasam, try this other recipe posted last year.


  1. Ooh. I love the frozen jackfruit I get on the odd occasion from the Chinese market during my tri yearly trip south. I've never had fresh and I certainly have never tried something with jackfruit as an ingredient. I'd love to see what it tastes like! MMMMM.

  2. Wow! I have heard of this dish but never really made it. It looks so lovely. I miss eating all the sweet jackfruit, especially the 'varikka chakka'. And not to mention the chakka adai. You really brought back a lot of memories....

  3. Mika, I was introduced to this dish after I married a Palghat brahmin :) My MIL always packs a big packet of chakka varatti for us when we make a trip back to india. I've never really tried to make this payasam, we finish the varatti as is usually :)

    I love your idea of making it in the m/w and with canned jackfruit! wow!

    thanks for sharing a lovely recipe.


  4. Well, i liked that photo of chakka chola verymuch... could you keep that on top for posterity... and i didn't actually liknk but was looking for an english name for chakka chola when i found your blog on google and mentioned the same on a small

  5. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Never did I think I will find a chakkavaratti recipe online,on a blog.Thank you so much!

  6. Yummy!Looks so delicious!

  7. Hey Mika,

    Certainly a mouthwatering dish that: the chakka pradhaman. It is one of my all time favourites! I was introduced to this dish after marriage. My father-in-law hails from a village called Kollengode in Palaghat district. We have a huge jackfruit tree in the backyard of our house in Kerala, that produces the most succulent jackfruits ever known. Chakka pradhaman prepared from these jackfruits, in the traditional urali tastes simply out of the world!

  8. Mika, that's a lovely color..Looks so inviting..