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Kerala agripreneur Rajasree R’s experiments with jackfruit win her the State Farm Award 2021

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After we meet up with Rajasree R, she is within the midst of making ready jackfruit-based delicacies for a tv interview. The agripreneur has been busy ever since she was chosen for the ‘Finest Jackfruit Processor/Different Worth Addition 2021’ award instituted by the Kerala Authorities. “It’s an encouragement for me and for individuals who have been selling value-added merchandise of jackfruit,” she says.

Whereas the merchandise are processed and manufactured at a unit she runs in Panayil close to Nooranad in Alappuzha, the place she hails from, she markets them from her residence in Thiruvananthapuram. In addition to value-added merchandise from jackfruit, she sells merchandise manufactured from banana, tapioca and natural rice which might be grown at her farm beneath the model, Fruit n’ Root, launched practically six years in the past.

Jackfruit pasta

Jackfruit pasta
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Jackfruit or chakka, the official fruit of Kerala, has developed as a superfood with all components of the fruit — carpels, seeds, rags, core — used to make a variety of merchandise.

Product vary

Rajasree says that she has revamped 400 merchandise from jackfruit — tender, uncooked and ripe. Along with jackfruit-based curries, desserts and snacks that Malayali households are conversant in, the checklist has burger patties, pasta, noodles, vermicelli, sweets and extra.

Even the prickly rind will not be wasted, she says. It’s an ingredient in dahashamani (a natural ingesting water combine). The rind is used additionally in tooth powder.

She has not spared the latex as properly! It goes into selfmade kajal ( kanmashi). “There are age-old strategies of constructing kanmashi, utilizing betel leaf, kayyonni ( bhringaraj or false daisy) and castor oil. I added latex as properly. Nonetheless, this product will not be commercially manufactured,” she says.

She has additionally made cleaning soap and tea from the fruit however refuses to disclose the components and technique of preparation!

Burger with patty made of raw jackfruit

Burger with patty manufactured from uncooked jackfruit
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Rajasree, 50, has been dwelling exterior Kerala for over 15 years along with her husband, Saish Okay Pillai, an engineer, and their two sons, Devadath and Vishnudath. “Every time I got here dwelling, I used to take again sun-dried jackfruit bulbs and seeds with me. Whereas my buddies used to adore it, I didn’t as a result of they used to have a particular, disagreeable odor. Later, once I determined to settle in Thiruvananthapuram six years in the past for my sons’ schooling, I got here throughout the expertise to dehydrate jackfruit carpels and seeds and make value-added merchandise from it. I attended a course at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at Kayamkulam and that simply modified my life,” she says.

Mixture made with jackfruit rags

Combination made with jackfruit rags
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

After the coaching, she took half in a contest to make jackfruit-based merchandise. “Among the many 12 gadgets that I ready had been soup with jackfruit seed and rind, payasam with uncooked jackfruit, sweets from ripe carpels, burger (patty with uncooked jackfruit), momos (wheat flour-jackfruit ground sheet with candy or spicy jackfruit filling)…,” she shares.

She had taken a FSSAI (Meals Security and Requirements Authority of India) licence by then. “My plan was to introduce merchandise that aren’t generally made. My sons love burger and pasta and I needed to make wholesome variants of the identical by decreasing the amount of refined flour ( maida) that goes into them. So I used jackfruit flour as an alternative,” she says.

Fruit n Root’s jackfruit pasta was launched in 2017 at VAIGA (Worth Addition for Revenue Era in Agriculture), an annual agri-business occasion to showcase the most recent developments and methods. It’s organised by Kerala Authorities with the assist of the Authorities of India and varied analysis organisations. “The Central Tuber Crops Analysis Institute (CTCRI) in Thiruvananthapuram has a machine to make tapioca pasta. I attended a course on the Institute and learnt to make value-added merchandise from tapioca. I used to be allowed to make use of the machine to make jackfruit pasta and as soon as I obtained the expertise switch, I launched the product,” she says. She nonetheless makes use of this machine at CTCRI to make pasta and a few value-added merchandise of tapioca.

Jackfruit murukku

Jackfruit murukku
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

In between, she managed to arrange the processing and manufacturing unit at Nooranad the place 10 folks together with eight ladies are employed. “It was not all simple to start with. Each home in my native place has at the least 10 jack bushes, however tonnes of fruit go wasted yearly. So I approached ladies within the neighbourhood to see if they may slice the carpels and seeds and dry them. Initially, they weren’t severe about it. It took me nearly a 12 months to make them realise the significance of the product. After that I taught them to make totally different merchandise from jackfruit,” she says. The unit is ready up with a subsidy from Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) Kerala.

Cake made with jackfruit flour 

Cake made with jackfruit flour 
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Nonetheless, some folks tried to dissuade these ladies. “However I persevered and we put collectively a small meals pageant the place the ladies I skilled showcased jackfruit-based merchandise they’d made. All gadgets had been bought out by midday and that was step one in direction of successful the belief of the folks,” she says.

Fruit n’ Root’s jackfruit merchandise embrace flours to make breakfast dishes comparable to idiyappam, chapathi, poori and the like. The flour is blended with rice flour or wheat flour to arrange these dishes.

A sadya spread with dishes made using different parts of jackfruit

A sadya unfold with dishes made utilizing totally different components of jackfruit
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Versatile fruit

“There isn’t any finish to the delicacies you possibly can put together with jackfruit. I make jackfruit idli, for which uncooked jackfruit is steamed, floor to a high quality paste and added to rice and urad dal combine. Dried jackfruit powder is used to arrange uppumavu. I’ve stocked frozen ripe and uncooked carpels. The ripe ones are normally used to make Panasamritham, a jelly-like dessert with jackfruit, jaggery, ghee and cardamom. Curd and sambharam constituted of jackfruit puree and snacks, pickle and curries made utilizing tender jackfruit ( idichakka) are different merchandise,” she explains.

Jackfruit ice lolly

Jackfruit ice lolly
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Earlier than the lockdown, she used to promote Chakkapothi – rice and jackfruit dishes wrapped in sauteed banana leaf. The standard Kerala sadya can be an all-jackfruit affair, she says. Sambar, avial, thoran, erissery, pachadi, pickle (made with jackfruit rags), payasam, masala curry…jackfruit can go into all of them. “You may make pappadam with uncooked jackfruit pulp. Including sago enhances the style,” Rajasree says.

Jackfruit seed flour can be utilized for a number of functions. “I obtained the coaching to make avalosepodi and chammanthipodi at KVK. It can be used to make muffins, sweets, gulab jamun, toffee, munthirikothu…”

Jackfruit 'sambharam' (buttermilk)

Jackfruit ‘sambharam’ (buttermilk)
| Photograph Credit score: SPECIAL ARRAGEMENT

Rajasree factors out that it’s excessive time folks find out about authorities schemes to arrange agri-based enterprises with home-grown produce. “Even in any other case, in case you have jackfruit at dwelling, you possibly can simply sun-dry the bulbs, retailer them and use them when wanted. It was throughout the lockdown that individuals foraged their backyards for greens and jackfruit got here to the rescue in lots of households,” she says.

(Try Rajasree’s YouTube web page, Fruit n’ Root for movies of some jackfruit-based dishes)

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