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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Chakka Upperi (Thoran) | Raw Jackfruit Stir Fry

Almost all parts of the humble jackfruit is used in  Kerala and the last lock down period and this lock down people have made good use of this fruit. Right from the tender jackfruit, the fruit is plucked and cooked raw to make idichakka thoran. Then the mature ones are cooked like the recipe below or many other variations. The raw ones are also fried during this season. The ripe ones are eaten fresh or made in different edibles listed below or are preserved as chakka varetti(jackfruit preserve). At last is the seeds which can be made as a delicious chakkakuru milk shake(Jackfruit seeds Milk shake) or chakkkuru mezhukuparetti and added to many other stir fries listed below.

The word 'upperi' may sound strange to people down the south of Kerala  because they refer to upperi as chips. Towards Thrissur, upperi refers to any stir fry vegetable cooked, tempered with spices and without much coconut is referred as upperi, almost like 'thoran' towards south. In Thrissur chips is referred to as chakka varuthathu and not chips commonly. I make my own variations and cook so I generally add grated coconut to this simple upperi. Originally in Thrissur, the grated coconut is not added to the tempering. This is a simple way to have raw jackfruit and there by reduce the intake of carbs in the form of cooked rice, especially perfect for diabetics. Do give this a try if you love this preparation before the jackfruit season ends and enjoy !!


Soaking time(if using dry) ~ 3-4 hours
Cleaning the jackfruit ~ 30 minutes
Preparation time~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author~ Julie
Serves ~ 2-3
Ingredients
raw jackfruit bulbs 20-25 or dry jackfruit pieces 1 cup
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
hot chilli powder 3/4 tsp
shallots sliced 5-6
garlic cloves 6-8
coconut grated 1/3 cup(optional)
curry leaves 2 sprigs
coconut oil 1 tbsp
salt to taste 




Method
  • If you are using fresh raw jackfruit, cut the jackfruit and remove the bulbs. De seed them and chop in small pieces as in pic. 

OR
If you are using dry jackfruit pieces like I did here. The recipe to dry jackfruit pieces is here. In that case soak the dry jackfruit pieces for 3-4 hours with enough water. Drain the water and is ready to use.



  • Either the soaked dry jackfruit pieces or using the fresh raw chopped jackfruit, add half a cup of water, add  the turmeric powder and salt.
  • Then cook the jackfruit covered for about 5-7 mins, we can check the pieces in between to check if cooked. The pieces gets softer and wilted. Switch off flame at this stage.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced shallots, sliced garlic and curry leaves. Saute until the shallots turn translucent. To this add red chilli powder on low flame.(Read an alternative method to give kids in the 'notes' section).
  • Transfer the cooked jackfruit an mix well. Add grated coconut at this stage if using and combine. Wait for another minute to get the masala combined. Switch off flame and serve warm.


NOTES
 *Adding coconut is strictly optional, adds a sweet nutty flavor. Coconut is not added to this recipe in Thrissur when my MIL cooks.
* A better alternative- I loved this as a kid and my kids love it too. Add freshly grated coconut to the cooked jackfruit pieces with little salt, drizzle a little(about 1 tbsp) fresh coconut oil and give a quick toss. Serve warm and tastes yumm. In this the tempering with shallots, garlic and spices is not done.