Jackfruit – The Jack of all trades

The jackfruit is very commonly known as the “kathal” in many parts of India. It is very large in size, and looks somewhat like a durian. It has a lot of prickly needle like structures on the outside. Inside, it has a large number of bulb-like pods. These are often called seeds. They are fleshy, and are actually an outer fleshy covering for the seeds which are placed inside. The seeds are round and dark, with the color of chestnuts. These bulbs are often eaten as they are, while sometimes they are also cut and cooked. They find their place in a variety of recipes in India. It is one of the best known vegetable substitutes for meat, as it even feels and tastes like that. For this reason, it is often called as “vegetable meat”.

The jackfruit tree belongs to the mulberry family.

It is also known as Kathal.

Being 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.

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”).

Buying tips
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.

Culinary uses

  1. Ripe jackfruits are very fragrant. The fruit color changes from green to yellowish brown when ripe.
  2. To remove fruit bulbs, apply cooking oil in hands and utensils to free from gummy latex.
  3. 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.
  4. Ripe fruit bulbs are eaten out of hand.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

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.

Medicinal values

  1. Jackfruit contains many vitamins and minerals, and offers numerous health benefits.
  2. The fruit’s isoflavones, antioxidants, and phytonutrients mean that jackfruit has cancer-fighting properties.
  3. It is also known to help cure ulcers and indigestion.
  4. Very good source of potassium and good source of vitamin C.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Jackfruit seed powder has the ability to relieve

Where to buy Jackfruit in US
A few jackfruit trees have thrived in Florida and San Diego, but the northern parts of the US and all of Canada are generally too cold for young jackfruit trees. In the United States, jackfruit may be found in Middle Eastern and Asian markets. The Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Florida offers recipes for jackfruit patties, casserole, salad and fruit compote.

Nutritional and dietary information
Distinctive because of its size, tasty jack fruit’s loaded with energy, minerals, dietary fiber and vitamins. But, it does not have cholesterol or saturated fats and so is a healthy fruit to taste!

Thus on having a small 165 g cup of jackfruit, you can be sure of it putting in approximately 155 calories to your every day intake of calorie of which just 4 being from fat, which is certainly good news.

The inexperienced person is imminently surprised while looking at the jackfruit and possibly wonders how it is possible to consume this jagged-textured, green distorted thing which we identify to be a fruit. The truth is that real thing lies concealed. Further than the bottle-green shabby coating is the true deal.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Size 165g
Calories from Fat 4
Calories 155
Total Fat 1%
Saturated Fat 1%
Potassium 14%
Total Carbohydrate 13%
Dietary Fiber 11%
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 18%
Calcium 6%
Iron 6%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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