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The Financial Express

Jackfruit as a meat substitute


Jackfruit Jackfruit

Although this is not the season of jackfruit, no time is inappropriate to appreciate its goodness. It is really difficult to mark a useless part in this fruit. 

In most cases, a large portion of the fruits that are relatively big in size goes to the dustbin, be it the seeds, the peel or the inner stem. 

Coming to Jackfruit peel, it has so many chemical potentials as agricultural waste. It is also nutritious food for domestic cows which helps to increase the production of milk.

Jackfruit seeds can be eaten both roasted like nuts and cooked in a nice gravy. Even delicious Halwa can be made with jackfruit seeds following the same process as Chickpeas Halwa. 

These seeds are also used like potatoes in both veg and non-veg curries even in Khichuri. The fact that they are delicious and contain high levels of fibre, resistant starch, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, thiamine and riboflavin, makes them a great choice. 

Fibre and resistant starch have been linked to many powerful health benefits, including hunger control, reduced blood sugar levels, improved digestion and insulin sensitivity.

Jackfruit is often referred to as an alternative to meat for vegans and vegetarians due to its thick texture. Even cutlets made with the inner stem of ripe jackfruit may confuse people with lamb or beef cutlets. 

There is another dimension of diversity in raw jackfruit recipes in many countries. In Bangladesh, it’s both cooked all alone and with beef or prawn. Pulled Jackfruit recipes can be a great replacement for Mutton/Beef-keema or shredded meat. 

Foods like tacos, sandwiches/ sub-sandwiches and burgers can also be made with it. BBQ jackfruit is being appreciated all over the world as vegan meat. The shredded-sautéed jackfruit can be used to make Tikka and Kebab.

Raw jackfruit contains 3g of protein per cup. Apart from containing far lesser calories than most carb-veggies like potatoes, beets or grains, it is fibre-rich and keeps you feeling full for longer. It also contains vitamin C.

When the leading identity is as a fruit, then there is nothing new to say about the sweet succulent ripe jackfruit. Many people like to eat puffed rice with ripe jackfruit juice, many eat it with milk, many make clay stove baked cake with the extracted juice. 

But what is not that common or available these days is the molasses of jackfruit. To prepare it, quicklime is mixed with soft ripe jackfruit meat and left for hours to leave a juice. 

Then the juice is taken away from the meat and heated on fire until it turns into caramel or molasses. The pigment that gives ripe jackfruit a yellow colour is called Carotenoid which is high in vitamin A. 

Like all antioxidants, carotenoids protect cells from damage and help your body work right. It helps prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease, as well as eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Premature jackfruit (aka Muchi) is also famous for its mouth-watering Bhorta or chutney. Green chilli, garlic, tamarind, ginger, sugar etc. are added to make it tangy and spicy. This chutney is famous for bringing back taste in sick or distaste tongue.

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