Enjoy the best of deep-fried sweet jackfruit fritters with a cup of tea this weekend. Try this vegan, Kerala-style chakka pazham pori that is a seasonal favourite.
My parents come from a small town household where things are generously shared between the neighbours. These are predominantly garden produce that is left at your doorstep. So when you open the door in the morning, depending on the season, there will be mangoes, jackfruit, curry leaves or some spinach on the patio chair left for my parents while their friends pass by for work or errands. Such lead also to an impromptu chaya session with some snacks on the side. This is when such household basic treats become the one over which you share your ups and downs.
Sharing with you today is a very common Kerala-style jackfruit fritter that gets made so many times in the season.
Let’s pick the right ripe jackfruit
One of the key elements to getting this dish right is picking the right jackfruit. Now, the tips I have learnt to pick the best jackfruits come from seasoned cooks who wrestle with the 8 to 10-kg monsters almost daily.
First up smell: That incredibly inviting sweet smell tells you that it is a perfect ripe jackfruit. I don’t think you can ever miss that.
The sound test: this test has worked every time for me. When you tap on a whole jackfruit it will have a muted dense sound when young. When ripe and ready it makes a hollow sound. This helps you to test before you buy a jackfruit.
Look for blemishes: it is natural for the jackfruit to have some stain marks or brown spots. These don’t have any reflection on the fruit as the rind is pretty thick. However, you want to avoid the ones that have holes or black decay spots as the fruit inside will be affected. So give that monster a roll to check all sides.
The colour: as the fruit ripens jackfruit doesn’t bring a lot of colour change. Yet for the keen eye, you will be able to tell the slight yellowishness of the rind from that deep green.
The thorn test: now, this is one I learnt from my mother and comes in handy, especially with distinguishing the naturally ripened ones from the ones that have been sprayed with ethylene to help them ripen. Of course, the tree-ripe ones are sweeter, without a doubt. The thorns on the rind of jackfruit are pointy and close to each other while the fruit is young. As if ripens and the fruit swells, the thorns flatten out and spread. So a ripe fruit should have well-spaced thorns that have a flat base.
Hope these tips come handy to help you pick a good fruit.
Ingredients to make chakka paxham pori
Jackfruit: to make this recipe you need the sweet pods. Usually, they come stuck to the rind and are encased by jackfruit rags. Separate them from these two. The pod has one large seed in the centre. This should be removed too. Now what you are left with is the sweet yellow flesh of the pods. This is what we want for this recipe.
For the batter: A very basic batter is used to make this jackfruit fritter. Gather up the basic pantry supplies of rice flour, whole wheat flour, sugar and salt. You can swap the flour for chickpea flour (besan) if you are making a gluten-free one.
Let’s make chakka paxham pori
The jackfruit fritters come together easily once you have cleaned the jackfruit. Here is a quick list of what happens
Prep the jackfruit: First, apply oil to your hands so the stain from the jackfruit will not stick to you. The jackfruit is sliced and the central core is sliced off. Now the yellow pods are visibly exposed. Peel them off the rind. ( Save the rind, don’t throw the rind, make Rind curry – Click here). Remove the rags that are sticking to it. Now the pod is free. From the base peel the fleshy part and remove the seed. This fleshy part is what we need for this recipe. Set that aside and proceed making the batter.
Make the batter: The batter is an easy whisk of the flour, the sugar and the salt. It is a slightly sweet batter and not a savoury one like the pakodas. Keep the batter to a dropping consistency and not a pouring one as the fleshy jackfruit should be coated well with this batter.
Deep fry: Set the oil to warm up. Any neutral cooking oil suitable to be heated up is fine. You can use coconut oil or sunflower oil to cook the fritters. Once the oil is heated up, check by dropping a tiny drop of the batter. When the oil is at the right temperature the batter bubble will rise up instantly and not stay at the bottom of the pan. Dip the fleshy jackfruit pieces one by one and drop it in the oil, giving enough space for them to fry, say 7 to 8 pieces at one go. Once golden on both sides the jackfruit can be removed from oil and served hot.
Check the recipe card below for the exact measurements to make this recipe. You can pin the same onto your board from here too.
Chakka pazham pori
- deep fryer
- mixing bowls and spoons.
- measuring cups and spoons
- 10-12 jackfruit pods seperated
For deep frying
- 1/2 cup Raw rice flour
- 2 tbsp Whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 pinch salt
For deep frying
- 2 cups cooking oil coconut or sunflowr oil
- Seprate the pods, remove the seed and set up the fleshy part ready for the recipe.
- Whisk together the ingredients to make the batter.
- Add a little bit of water at a time and make a lump free batter.
- Once the batter has reached dropping consistency, set it aside for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Heat up the oil in a wok or deep fryer.
- As the oil heats up ( not smoking point) drop in a tsp of batter to see if it is ready.
- If the batter fries up well, the oil is ready.
- Dip the flesh pods, one by one into the batter and fry them in the oil.
- Once they sizzle and float up flip over and cook.
- When both sides are golden remove onto a plate lined with banana leaves.
- The chakka pazham pori is now ready to be served.
What to serve with this fritter
Typically this snack is served with tea. So it makes a great snack for about the evening tea time. However, If you serve the warm chakka pazham pori with soft-serve vanilla ice cream, you have one of the best desserts.
In the urban run, you hardly get to see the exchange of seasonal home produce, nor is there any chakka pazham to share! Still when you see some in the Asian markets make the best of the treats that mean a lot to you. When you get a few slices try out this chakka pazham pori and let us know how much you like it. Share the idea with your friends and family. Tag us when you share images on your socials.
See you at the next post.