I had one favorite auntie next to us when I was in 8th standard, who taught me a good deal of cooking. Not only she showed me different ways to make stuff tasty, she always used to give me genuine opinion about my dishes unlike my family who were always biased. It is from her that I learnt to make Chakka Pradhanam – a Kerala sweet speciality which is a kheer made out jackfuit. I have always loved jack fruit – the extreme sweetness, and the sweet flavour that fills the entire house! When she told me that there is a delicacy that could be made with this fruit, I had to try it out. Auntie duly dropped a dabba of jack fruit halwa at home which was so so good. It is that halwa thats the base of the pradhaman. The sweet jackfuit cooked along with jaggery with a dollop of ghee is so very tasty. I made dad go to the market all the way to buy me jackfruit. Dad being dad, got a huge one. A full day was spent cutting the fruit, cleaning it and making the halwa. I had so much halwa in my hands that we had to distribute it to our neighbours and the rest was put into multiple dabbas and stored for every day dessert 😀
After what seems like ages, I remembered how good Chakka Pradhaman tastes and have been going on about it endlessly to S. Not being able to stand it anymore, he got me some jackfruit last night. And Chakka Pradhaman got made as dessert for our Sunday lunch of Pudina Rice and Potato Roast. This time, instead of making a paste out of jackfruit I cut into tiny bits just to get more texture out in the kheer. Not knowing what to expect, S was pleasantly surprised and literally licked the bowl clean 😀 Once the jackfruit halwa is made, it can also be added to the Paruppu Payasam which takes it to whole new level. I am sure I am going to try it out the coming week. If you have a sweet tooth, I am sure you would love this!
What I used –
- Jackfruit – 12pieces (deseeded)
- Jaggery – 1/2cup
- Coconut milk – 1 cup
- Cardamom – 2
- Ghee – 1tsp
- Cashews – as required
- Water – 1/4cup
How I made –
- In a large pan, add the ghee and fry cashews until golden brown. Keep aside.
- Add jaggery and water, let it dissolve. Add finely chopped jackfruit pieces. (Jackfruit can be made into a paste as well)
- Keep stirring until the mixture resembles halwa texture. (This can be stored in the refrigerator for a month or so)
- Reduce the flame and slowly add the coconut milk, cardamom.
- Dont overboil the pradhaman for more than a couple of minutes, as the coconut milk may curdle.
- Add the fried cahews and serve hot or cold 🙂
So the Chakka Pradhaman was immensely enjoyed here – both the making and tasting. Thanks to S Auntie, who taught me this awesome dish and many others 🙂