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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jackfruit

Sometimes the things that make me really excited aren't really fancy. They are things that bring back fond memories of childhood and growing up in India. One such time was when i spotted this in one of the Indian grocery stores. Yes, you saw it right...it is the Jackfruit. One of our friends called it the vegetarian's chicken, because it resembles chicken in texture and looks.


In the township, they were usually sold by these push cart vendors during the time the fruit is in season. You could sample a piece and see how it tastes before buying a big chunk of it. Because, more often than not, the fruit might not be sweet enough, in which case you just dip it in some honey ! In rare cases, we used to have homegrown ones from Vijaya Aunty's, and their fruit was exceptionally sweet.


Guru used to have a Jackfruit tree at home, and anyone who had one would agree that you have to put in some effort to get to the fruit. Soaking the hands and fingers in oil and working through the sticky mess is an arduous task..

The seeds are one of my other favourite delicacy. They are dried and then cooked and added to "Kootu's". I still haven't cooked these seeds I saved (It has been close to 8 months) and hopefully in the next few weeks  I can get one of these recipes posted.

We also attempted to recreate my mother-in-law's Chakka Pradaman (which is a sweet dish like Kheer made with Jackfruits) and failed miserably.

Around the same time I spotted that Park Seeds carried Jackfruit seeds and so I went and ordered them right away. I also saved 2 seeds from my fresh fruit stash, soaked it for a few days in Kelp and planted all 3 in separate pots. Both the seeds I planted from my home stash germinated. The one from Park Seed did not. Of the 2 seedlings, I lost one to some Squirrel/ Skunk digging.

The biggest highlight of the story is that one of those seeds is now doing well and happy.




2 comments:

  1. I love that you're growing drumsticks and jack fruit trees! Have you seen either one plant in CA around your place?

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  2. I haven't seen anyone growing them and they are not native. I am not sure how they will do in the winter even if I move them to a protected area. Worth giving it a try :)

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