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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Chakka Halwa | Jackfruit Halwa & My 1000th Post !!

2011- all set to start a blog to jot down my own cooking notes and recipe; blog was born. Initially it was a blogging spree with over five posts per week which gradually started to fade away as time passed and the blog posts reduced to three and then to two and sometimes even one per week. There were times when I had to shut down this space completely for almost a year or couple of months as well for some relocations. The enthusiasm to try out newer recipes was inborn, and so posting new recipes was never a big task but my motivation was my fellow bloggers posts and their constant comments that kept me moving. I made so many good friends in this virtual world and yes!! I must say many have left blogging since the time I started blogging. Many of the bloggers have started their own You Tube channel, some got busy in many other things and stopped blogging and so on. But me- in the same place here??  Many of my consistent readers and good friends did ask me to start a channel, but somehow I haven't given it a second thought for my personal reasons. Maybe I will change up my mind sooner, hopefully you never know ;)

2021- 1000 Th post !!  I know it's not a Herculean task but to me, it's a real 'BIG' number. It's not the numbers that surprises me but a sense of accomplishment that I have tried, tested and showcased 1000 posts. The tried and tasted list goes even beyond this number as there were many which never appeared here, only my testers (guinea pigs) got to taste though :P

Ten years of blogging has taught me many good things in this small world, and am so happy to have started a space. The best part of this space is that I go on my own pace and I don't have a deadline. It gives me a sense of achievement when I receive positive comments or feedback of my recipes. Small positive gestures always drives me crazy and when I can do it, you too can. All thanks to my blogger friends, fb readers, my family and my close friends who are the pillar of strength.

So today, here is a virtual treat with the official fruit of Kerala- jackfruit. The season is almost over and this halwa is prepared using the chakka varetti(preserved jackfruit). It's easy to make using the preserve and takes no much time. Though chakka varetti resembles almost a halwa form, but it's more of a carrot halwa like consistency and so cutting this varetti in pieces can't be done and so rice flour is added  and the addition of coconut milk enhances the taste. The coconut milk, ghee and oil adds that extra flavour and taste to the halwa and the rice flour adds the binding. The pieces are so smooth and melt in the mouth that you actually fall in love with them. Mom makes this halwa every year and I do always enjoy her piece of  halwa but this time I thought to give this a try on my own with her tips and tricks and am so very happy with the outcome. Do give this a try if you have chakka varetti in hand and enjoy !!

Please check out more halwa recipes listed in my space-

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 35-40 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ halwa in a  round plate of 6' diameter
chakka varetti 2 cups (500gms)
jaggery/ sharkara  150 gm
rice flour 5 tbsp-6 tbsp
thick coconut milk 1 cup
thin coconut milk 1 cup
cardamom(elakka)  1 tsp
ginger powder(chukku podi) 1/2 tsp
coconut oil 1/4 cup
ghee/ neyyu 1/4 cup

  • Extract the first and second milk from grated coconut or, if using canned coconut milk, then dilute and get ready. Dilute the jaggery and strain the impurities, keep aside. Mix the rice flour in 2nd coconut milk and keep aside. Thaw the chakka varetti to room temperature if using from fridge. Smear a steel plate with ghee and keep aside.

  • Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, add the strained jaggery and then add the chakka varetti. Mash all the lumps and get a smooth batter. Add the second coconut milk mixed with rice flour (mix again before adding, as the rice flour settles at the bottom). Keep the flame to medium so that the chakka does not settle at the bottom and get burnt and stir in between as the mixture may be running consistency. As the mixture thickens, you may continually need to stir the mix without removing hands(take a long handle spoon or spatula and give your biceps a good exercise :D). 
  • As the mixture reduces slightly, add the first coconut milk. Continue to cook till the mixture looks nice and thick, add the remaining coconut oil in between as you find the mixture sticks to the pan. Add the ginger powder and cardamom powder in between.

  • Add the 1/4 cup coconut oil in batches till you see a slight amount of oil oozing out of the halwa when finally ready. Also, the mixture starts to dance in the pan, leaving from the sides like a soft ball. At this stage transfer the mix to a ghee smeared steel plate and smoothen the top. 
  • Cool completely before cutting in slices, or refrigerate two hours and then cut in pieces.

*  As soon as you feel the mixture is having less oil or ghee when cooking, then add oil and ghee accordingly then only you will get a halwa cut pieces.
* You can make this halwa using ripened jackfruit bulbs too, in that case grind the bulbs and add to the pan with strained jaggery syrup. Remember to add more jaggery as needed.
* You can fry the cashews and add, but I have added just like that.
* If you find it difficult to cut then, refrigerate the plate and then cut out pieces.


Angie's Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

1000 posts/recipes...that's remarkable, Julie. Definitely something worth a celebration. These jackfruit halwa look wonderful and perfect for the celebration. Enjoy one for me please :-))

Agiwangliu Newmai said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Jules I am truly a kerala food lover but this particular halwa is my favorite πŸ’–...never had i imagined i could make on my own(still yet tooπŸ˜ƒ) but m sure m gonna collect the items sooner and try out my favorite sweet dish...thanks for making it look so simple and encouraging us 😊