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Enormous and prickly on the outside, jackfruit looks somewhat like durian (though jackfruit is usually even larger). Once a jackfruit is cracked open, what you will find inside are pods or "bulbs". Often referred to as the seeds, this bulb is actually a kind of fleshy covering for the true seeds or pits, which are round and dark like chestnuts. The fleshy part (the "bulb") can be eaten as is, or cut up and cooked. When unripe (green), it is remarkably similar in texture to chicken, making jackfruit an excellent vegetarian substitute for meat. In fact, canned jackfruit (in brine) is sometimes referred to as "vegetable meat". Jackfruit is the name of the fruit of the 'jackfruit' tree, which belongs to the mulberry family. Jackfruit is said to be the largest tree borne fruit in the world, with its diameter being at least 25 cm. There can be jackfruits measuring as much as 36 kg in weight, 90 cm in length and 50 cm in diameter. The best part of the fruit is that even its seeds have a high nutritional value.
Raw jackfruit cubes
Dice or cube raw jackfruit by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. Cube them as per the recipe's need regarding the size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes").
How to Select
Jackfruit can also be purchased frozen, dried, or canned either in brine (usually unripe) or in syrup (ripe and sweet). If using fresh jackfruit, it's a good idea to oil your knife and hands first before cutting, as the fruit is very sticky.
· Ripe jackfruits are very fragrant. The fruit color changes from green to yellowish brown when ripe.
· To remove fruit bulbs, apply cooking oil in hands and utensils to free from gummy latex.
· If left to cook inside the flesh (for example, in curries or other cooked dishes), the nut softens and can easily be eaten.uit seeds (nuts) can be roasted like chestnuts, or boiled.
· Ripe fruit bulbs are eaten out of hand.
· Boiled Jackfruit seeds are a very tasty and nutritious snack. Boiled Jackfruit seeds can be used as an alternative to potatoes.
· Jackfruit seeds, which appeal to all tastes, may be boiled or roasted and eaten, or boiled and preserved in syrup like chestnuts. They can be canned in brine, in curry, and, like baked beans, in tomato sauce. They can also be included in curried dishes. Roasted, dried seeds are ground to make flour which is blended with wheat flour for baking.
· Jack fruit dishes like 'Chakka Pradhaman'(Jack fruit Pudding),'Chakka Varatti' (Jackfruit Jam)& 'Chakka Varuthathu'(Jack fruit Chips) are very popular in Kerala.'Chakka' (Jackfruit) can be eaten whole or cooked
How to Store
Jackfruits turn brown and deteriorate quickly after ripening. Hence it is always advisable to wrap it in a plastic bag and keep it in refrigerator. Use it fresh as soon as possible to avoid any kind of spoilage.
· Jackfruit contains many vitamins and minerals, and offers numerous health benefits.
· The fruit's isoflavones, antioxidants, and phytonutrients mean that jackfruit has cancer-fighting properties.
· It is also known to help cure ulcers and indigestion.
· Very good source of potassium and good source of vitamin C.
· It is a rich source of complex carbohydrate, dietary fiber, vitamins like vitamin A, C and certain B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, zinc, and phosphorous.
· They contain lignans, isoflavones, saponins, that are called phytonutrients and their health benefits are wide-ranging from anti-cancer to antihypertensive, anti-ageing, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, etc.
· Jackfruit seed powder has the ability to relieve discomfort due to indigestion.