For Kasargod Neerchal native Deepasree, jackfruit is king, whether ripe or raw. She prepares 42 dishes and says never waste anything from seed to skin of a jackfruit.
It was some months back, in a jackfruit festival in Perla, Deepasree first experimented with jackfruit preparation almost seven dishes were prepared and she won prizes. She gave her a huge encouragement to start experimenting more on jackfruit.
Deepasree is married to Ravi Shankar who is a teacher in MSCHSS, Neerchal.
KVK with full support
The chief technical officer Saritha Hegde of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasargod promised full-fledged support and encouragement to Deepasree in all her jackfruit endevours.
Though it began as a hobby, it is now a way of earning for Deepasree. She sells some of her jackfruit dishes through the Eco shop managed by Puthige Panchayat.
Most of the items are packed at home itself and sold like hotcakes in the shop, says Ravi Shankar.
Deepasree was born to Kesav Bhatt and Devaki, both natives of Dakshina Kannada (South Canara) Belthangady. She is a graduate in Fashion Designing. And after she got married she concentrated on tailoring.
She now experiments new dishes with jackfruit. She also gets help from her husband’s mother Revathy.
Not even a seed is wasted
Ravi Shankar owns a seven-acre land in Neerchal where they grow around 12 jackfruit trees. Not even a seed is wasted there, they say.
Ravi Shankar also added that they are planning to grow more jackfruit trees in the free space of rubber plantations finding jackfruit farming more profitable.
Nutrimix, a variant in health drinks prepared using jackfruit, is a special item by Deepasree. It is prepared by powdering the jackfruit seeds and adding sugar into it. Also spices, including cardamom, almond and pepper, are added for taste and fragrance. Deepasree and Ravi Shankar said in unison that it is the best health drink available in the market.
Halwa, squash, jam, chocolates, chips, mithai, chutney powder, pickle, laddoo, biscuit, roti, desserts, jelly, dosa, idly, chukli, cake, chat, barfi, etc are some of the dishes experimented by Deepasree using jackfruit.
Jackfruit seed Rasam
Deepasree has developed an easy five-minute mix of rasam using jackfruit seed. Boil half-a-cup of water and just add this mix and stir for a while. For taste and fragrance, season it with mustard seeds and curry leaves in coconut oil, suggests Deepasree.
Also the same mix could be used to prepare puliogare, only add groundnut along with the rice. One of her specials is jackfruit seed chukli. It is a snack usually eaten alongside tea. The chukli mix is prepared by blending jackfruit seed powder with soaked rice.
Sweetness reloaded with jackfruit honey
Place the ripened jackfruit on a sieve and keep it over a platter. Boil until the essence from the jackfruit gets sieved into the platter and is liquefied into honey.
Halwa is made from raw jackfruit, it is tastier than wheat halwa, says Deepasree. Fry one kg of jackfruit arils and two kg of sugar along with ghee. When it becomes thick, add drops of lemon juice for an added taste.
There are a number of jackfruit seeds kept for drying in and around Deepasree’s house. It was brought by her parents from Belthangady recently for they have no other way of utilizing it in their place.
At KVK, there is a huge drier to dry all the seeds together where Deepasree dries the seeds for her experiments. Also KVK provides all help in packing the items.
Ravi Shankar assures that eating jackfruit seeds won’t get you into gas trouble. Even their children - Dhanvi and Dhvani - are not given anything bought from bakeries rather they eat the same health drink, chocolates and mithai prepared from jackfruit.