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Chakka Varatti- Varattiyathu- Jack fruit Halwa/Preserve

Chakka Varatti/ Jack fruit Jam

Chakka or jack fruit is a common fruit in South India. Jack fruit is a seasonal fruit and there are several delicious jack fruit recipes. Ripe jack fruit has a distinctively strong aroma and is naturally sweet. It tastes best for desserts. Chakka varatti is a popular jack fruit delicacy of Kerala which is made with fully ripe jack fruit bulbs. Chakka varatti is mainly a preserve and if made in the right consistency can be stored and used for more than a year. Never heard of jack fruit jam? Well, you're in for a treat!

Making chakka varatti was a yearly tradition back home in Kerala. The smell of varikka chakka is divine. By the way varikka chakka is the variety used to make chakka varatti. It is very sweet, tastes like honey and has a firm flesh even when it is ripe. Jack fruit is the most versatile of all tropical fruits. It has a strong fragrance when ripe and your whole house with be filled with a strong fruity aroma. Jack fruit is seasonal but you can enjoy it year-round if you make this preserve. Chakka varattiyathu is also used as the main ingredient to make Chakka pradhaman/payasam . It is used to make sweet snacks like kozhukatta, kumbilappam, and Ela ada, etc. It is mixed with coconut and used as a filling for steamed dumplings.

There are a few things etched in my memory when I think of making chakka varattiyathu. The young me sitting with the elder members of the family, grandmother, and her sisters and listening to their stories. They used to talk about their childhood happy times and the sad ones like the recession, World War II and the time when food was rationed. During those hard times, jack fruit became a sustainable food and they made several affordable recipes with jack fruit. It changed my outlook on this fruit. Long story short I have started deeply admiring this fruit and its versatility.

Making this preserve involves a lot of patience and labor. Fully ripe jack fruit bulbs have to be first cooked with jaggery and ghee and then reduced to the form of a halwa. but I promise it is definitely worth the effort. Try this, and enjoy your delicious homemade chakka varatti :)

Ripe Jack fruit recipes from Kerala
Chakka Varattiyathu
Chakka Pradhaman/Payasam
Chakka Ada
Chakka Kozhukatta
Chakk Pazham Pori
Chakka Pazham Puzhukku

Jack fruit is common in Kerala and the state fruit of Kerala. Ripe sweet jack fruit is eaten as a snack by itself just like any other fruit. Young and tender jack fruit are used to make savory curries and stir-fries. When in the season it is considered as a staple food. Mashed jack fruit is prepared just like mashed tapioca and served with spicy fish curry.

Jack fruit has recently gained much interest as a plant-based meat alternative. It is starchy and rich in fiber. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin c, magnesium, and potassium. It is good for your skin and boosts the immune system. The best place to find fresh jack fruit in the US is specialty markets like Whole Foods or Asian and Indian Stores.

How to make Chakka Varatti

Cooking and Prep Time- 2 hours
Recipe type- preserve/dessert
Cuisine- Kerala/ Indian

Ripe Jack fruit chopped-7 cups
Jaggery powdered-1 kg
Ghee- 1/2 cup
Cardamon powder- 2 tsp
Dry ginger powder- 1 tsp( optional)

Prepping the Jack fruit 
Use varikka chakka variety for this recipe. It is very sweet and firm flesh even when it is ripe and has a chewy texture. This variety has less fiber and is good to make chakka varatti

Cut it into half and then into four quarters. The pale-yellow, plump bulbs, which are edible and joined at the core. Slice off the core and use your hand to pull it away from the white fibers, discard the fibers and the rind. Save the seeds for curries and stir fry.

To make the chakka varatti 

Boil jaggery with one cup of water till completely dissolved and strain out the impurities. Put it back to the stove and simmer on medium flame till it thickens to one thread consistency.

Chop the jack fruit into small pieces. Add this into a blender and make a puree.

Take a heavy bottom pan and add the jack fruit puree. Cook it on medium flame and stir occasionally. Let it cook completely and thicken. This will take about 10 minutes. If you do not like the puree method, you can cook the chopped jack fruit and when it cooks mash well with the aid of a potato masher. 
Add in jaggery and let it cook and reduce. Stir continuously at this stage as the mixture will tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. 
Add in ghee little by little and when the mixture thickens add cardamom and dry ginger powder and stir continuously till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and roll to form a dark softball. Let it cool down completely. It will thicken as it cools. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

You might also like,
Chakka Pradhaman/Jack fruit Payasam
Chakka Ada
Chakka Vattal/Chips
Chakka Kuru Ularthiyathu
Chakka Puttu
Sweet Kozhukatta

Try this...

Hope you will all enjoy.


  1. Suja, that is an amazing looking jam. Wow, what an innovative idea, never knew we could do this from jackfruit seeds :)

  2. I love chakavaretty.... not the one with seeds.
    With the name jackfruit itself ,, I start drooling!!

    I m here here for the first time....
    DO visit my space whn time permits too..


  3. Oh my ...this is to drool....never tot of this ..nice one dear

  4. Adipoli Suja... Hats of to your patience to prepare this.. My favorite..

  5. yea...well done, my fav..kothy avrunnu...Suja chehci...


  6. Lovely color and delicious dear...

  7. It has been an year since I had this..taste is still in my tongue..delicious.
    Chicken perelan look super delicious and ur cake has came out so well,its hard to believe that u dont have much baking experience,u have decorated the cake so well..

  8. ayyo kothiyavanu..i like this easy version...

  9. Woww wat a tempting jam, really want to have some now..droolworthy jam Suja..

  10. Delicious jam suja...jack fruit is my fav...lovely recipe..I will try it sometime.

  11. wow suja what a colorful n delicious jam ...i love jack fruit but never got chance to taste the jam ...

  12. Innovative ...... rich colorful n yummm ......

  13. Thanks all..happy that you all like this traditional fruit delicacy..
    Thanks is actually the fleshy bulbs that is used..discard the seeds.
    Vidhya and Satya give this a will surely like this.

  14. suja chakka varatti looks so delicious. have a question how u made this red color.. really superb

  15. lovely colour.. nice way of enjoying jackfruit throughout the year..

  16. Entammee..Superb chakka varattiyathu..Its my fav..I guess our version is difft from yours, will try to post it sometime..

  17. wow, my fav. i really miss these here in Singapore... nicely done. wonderful texture and colour too.

  18. I love jackfruit in curries, biryani ... but have never heard of jackfruit jam.. very new to me....I specially loved the color..!! first time here and you have a lovely blog..Do drop in at my space sometime.

  19. really creative Suja...looks so yummy,why go to the market and buy the same jam again..thanks for sharing this :)

  20. kothi aayittu vaiya :)!!! awesome dear... enniku etiri taramo ;)

  21. lovely jam, beautiful presentation

  22. lovely n grt. nicce click too dear

  23. Lovely preparation, who could resist it:)

  24. Very unique jam,love its colour...

  25. Good idea Suja. Is this used like bread spread too?

  26. Yes Madhu..ou can use this as a bread spread..mash it up to a jam like consistency
    Neetz ..sure tharamalloo:)

  27. Thanks all for stopping by and for the sweet comments.


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