Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jackfruit Tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus

Name - Jackfruit tree / Jack-fruit Tree / Jack Tree
Scientific name ( Botanical Name ) of Jackfruit tree is Artocarpus heterophyllus
Family - Moraceae

                                 Jackfruit known as world's largest fruit is a tropical fruit which grows mainly in South-east Asia. It is very much liked by the people due to it's delicious taste and aroma.
                                 The tree grows very tall and is evergreen. But the fruit is seasonal. The fruit as you can see in the videos and photos, grows very big. Now a days there are lot of varieties of jackfruit trees available which does not grow much tall so that we can pluck the fruit easily.

                                In Kerala ( a state in India ) the fruit before ripening is used to make a very popular and delicious dish called chakka puzhukku. One average sized fruit would be enough to make chakka puzhukku for a small family. In Kerala Jack fruit ( called Chakka ) is mainly divided into two types - Varikka Chakka and Koozha Chakka. The flesh of ripen Varikka Chakka is harder compared to ripen Koozha Chakka. Jackfruit is also used in Kerala to make different types of fries which can be stored for a long time. Another food in Kerala made from Jack Fruit is Chakka Varatiyathu which looks like a jam which is very tasty.

The following video shows a Jackfruit which is not ripen plucked for making a dish called Chakka Puzhukku

                                         A fully ripen cut jackfruit ready to eat

Jackfruit flesh

Unripe Jackfruits
Unripe Jackfruits
                                                        How to cut a jackfruit and eat it

                                The hardest part of eating a jackfruit is the opening of the outer rind which is pretty hard. You can use a  knife to open the outer ring which needs a little bit effort ! Another thing which you should take care while cutting and eating a jackfuit
is a white sticky fluid which comes out. You can wipe it of f with some paper or cloth. If by chance it sticks on your body or cloth you can remove the white jack fruit fluid by applying some oil. In Kerala we use Cocunut oil which we use to cook foods to remove the white sticky jackfruit fluid if it sticks on the body or cloth. So I hope the same type of oils will work as well.

                                 The sweet yellow tasty flesh has a very good aroma. Anyone would love to it this fruit and will become a fan if you eat it once. Note -Different varieties have different tastes.
                                 Each and every flesh contains a seed which should be removed before eating. The seed is also used to make variety dishes.

Almost all parts of jackfruit are usable ! Yes the outer rind can be given to your cows. The cows loves it very much. If you don't have cows you can use it make bio-fertilizer.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Passion Fruit - Passiflora edulis

Name - Passion Fruit/Passion Fruit
Family - Passifloraceae
Genus - Passiflora

Passion fruit plant  is a vine plant which needs support to climb on. The plant grows easily without much care and attention.

 The fruits are either yellow or purple in color when they are fully ripen.The juicy interior of the passion fruit contains a tasty pulp with lot of seeds. Health benefits of passion fruits are numerous. Nowadays it is cultivated in many countries.

How to grow passion fruit

One of the easiest method to grow passion fruit is to grow from seeds. In my case I have collected the ripen fruits from one of my friends passion fruit plant. The fruit should be fully ripen. There are plenty of seeds in every fruit. Collect those seeds and put it under soil in a pot. The fact is that even though you through the fruit/seed away it will grow its own without much care. The photo provided here is a passion fruit plant which climbed on a tree. Nobody had planted it there but somehow the seed came there and grew !

Passiflora Edulis
Passion Fruit Plant and Fruits
                     The plant will sprout after around one week. When the plant grows up to 15 -20 centimeters you can replant it . The ideal place to plant the passion fruit is near to a fence or a small tree where the plant can climb. Why I am a suggesting a 'small' tree and not a 'big tree is that if the passion fruit plant climbs on a big tree you wont be able to pluck the ripen fruits easily and may have to wait till the fruit falls on earth which is not a good idea !

                     Even though passion fruit plant does not need extra care it is advisable to water it properly especially in first one month after planting. You can see a Purple Passion Fruit plant growing / climbing on a plastic net in the below video.


                                                           Passion fruit seedlings

passion fruit saplings
Passion fruit seedlings

                       The below picture shows passion fruits in growing stage

Passiflora Edulis
Passion fruits in growing stage

How to make passion fruit juice ( Video )

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