My mom visited me for few days recently and I was looking forward to cooking some old favorites with her. Palapzha Halwa was must do. I have such fond memories of Palapazam aka Jackfruit. It was customary in our house to buy at least 2 to 3 whole fruit each summer season, and it was always my grand-dad who would meticulously cut and peal the fruit and de-seed each one carefully, I can still taste that excitement and sweet smell of the aromatic fruit. How we would buzz around him to get few extra pieces or ‘Pala solai’ as its called in Tamil. Even the seeds from the fruit makes a good addition to any Kootu or Kuzhambu.
Kathal is its hindi name and is also popular as a vegetable. When tender,the fruits pieces make a awesome candidate for savory dishes. Some of my favorite Indian dishes are Kathal ki Biryani, Kathal ki sukhi sabzi (Jackfruit dry fruit), Palakai tengai kari ( Jackfruit coconut fry). This is also widely used as meat substitutes in Tacos and Burgers. Itching to try those and few more dishes as well.
Here are some fun facts about Jackfruit – Did you know
- Kerela, India is the largest producer of Jackfruit in the world
- Its the national fruit of Bangaladesh and SriLanka
- It can make savory, sweet and fried dishes
- Its commonly used meat substitute for vegetarian.
- Widely used in the manufacture of furniture because of its high termite. resistance.
- Has many health benefits
Now lets get back to the recipe at hand – Palapazha Halwa.
Palapzha Halwa | Jack Fruit Halwa
Jackfruit – 1 cup
Jaggary – 1 cup
Condensed milk – 3 tbs ( adjust to sweetness)
Elachi/Elakai/Cardamom – Seeds from 3 pods powdered.
Ghee/Nei/ Clarified Butter -1/4 cup ( for richness)
Almonds and Pistachios – 2 tbs sliced
- Peal, wash and dry the fruit first and grind it into smooth paste.
- In a heavy bottom pan add 1/2 of the ghee and add the ground paste to it.
- Let the jackfruit mix cook in to ghee will. This adds a lot of flavor to the Halwa.
- Now Add the Jaggary powder.
- If you think the jaggaey might have some dirt particles then cook it wit 2-4 tbs of water. Then strain the mix to separate any dirt from it.
- Add the mix back to the fruit mix and let it starts come together.
- Let both these come together and mix well. Add in the condensed milk (optional) and a pinch of salt at this point.
- Once it starts bubbling, start adding the the remaining ghee and let it roll without sticking to the sides of the pan.
- Keep adding ghee until the halwa starts releasing the ghee from the sides.
- Now add in separate pan add little ghee and roast the nuts.
- Add it to the nuts and elaichi powder halwa.