Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chakka Kuru Upperi: Jackfruit Seeds

 Ripe Jackfruit pods

The flavours of this spiky giant permeate our childhood memories, especially the summer holidays. Not always a pleasant one since an over-ripe Jackfruit is merciless. Jackfruit was plentiful in the estates surrounding  the old homes and was also the pride in suburban compunds, providing shade and grace  and prized fruits. Eaten in excess, Jackfruit seeds and unripe pods have a strong tendency to cause stomach pains, flatulence and diarrhea.

For people who grew up in the remnants of feudal Kerala, this fruit often offered sustenance, was often poached from estates, the ripe pecked-into-fruit, carefully salvaged and even the spiky rind scraped off to make a dish for a hungry family. Easily obtained from one's yard, it also sustained the pride of erstwhile landlords and crumbling estates.

The  Chakka Kuru, Jackfruit seed  was not considered an exalted dish and was often the 'vegetable dish' served to labourers alongwith Kanji/ Rice Gruel during the busy harvest season.  Made in combination with the bitter gourd it was served  'inside' the home.  However, the fruit preserve, Chakka Varatti, Jackfruit preserve which takes time, effort, expensive spices and clarified butter was a carefully preserved delicacy and highly prized for use in different sweetmeats. Stored in Chinese Porcelain jars, [also used for pickling] this was a seasonal effort that yeilded an exquisite product, used thruought the year.

A fresh jackfruit sold for $2.50 a pound and half of the fruit yeilded about 25 pods.  Disbelief and snorts of outrage from assorted Aunts and Uncles who still live in Kerala, surrounded by plenty!
Fresh, firm and wonders, just  ripe..... . The fruit was ripe  so we  could not cook it. The jackfruit seeds were cooked with a simple spice paste of shallots/ small red onions and dried red chillies, turmeric and salt. I have substituted powders  in lieu of the paste.

A little more than 2 Cups of Jackfruit seeds, the thin, plastic-ky outer coat removed, red coating scrubbed as much as possible.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 a small onion, chopped fine/5-6 small red onions chopped fine
2 tbsps coconut oil
Boil the jackfruit seeds with just enough water and salt.
Drain and keep aside
Heat the coconut oil in a pan
Saute the onions for 3-4 minutes
Add the jackfruit seeds, the turmeric powder and chilli powder
Saute for 3-5 minutes,
Add 1/4 cup of water and cook  on medium heat until done.
For a more 'roasted' taste, add more coconut oil and pan the jackfruit seeds with the spices and onion,  sprinkling water if it tends to stick.


  1. jack fruit seed stir fry looks really delicious.. if rice n morru curry and this stir fry best combination..nice memories ..

  2. Thanks Prani! You hit it on the nail! We had this with Kumblanga Moru kootan!

  3. Love anything with jack fruit seeds, stir fry looks yummy..

  4. Jackfruit seed stir fry looks lovely!

  5. Wow! my mom makes this and sometimes fries with mutton. Looks too good:)

  6. Fry is new to me. We normally add it as kashnam in sambar or kootan! Nice clicks!

  7. I love chakka kuru upperi and we also half boil them and deep fry it which I love a lot. The pictures are beautiful.

  8. It is so delightful and am drooling at those pictures..


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