Nature gives us many health solutions and jackfruit is one of them. Jackfruit is rich in antioxidants, has a lot of Vitamin C content, dietery fiber hence aids digestion, is rich in Vitamin A, is a good calcium supplement, generates energy, strengthens the immune system, bones just to name a few. So do try and add it in your diet to promote good health.
Ripe jackfruit cake also known as Phansache Dhondas / Dhonas is a traditional Konkan/Goan recipe that can be either steamed or baked and is served as a sweet or dessert after a meal. The basic ingredients used in Dhondas being jackfruit or cucumber, rava or idli rava, coconut gratings, and jaggery, though I have skipped using coconut in the recipe( that’s an individual choice). Traditionally jackfruit cake is prepared using the ‘Rasal’ variety of jackfruit as it gives the perfect sweetness. Here I have used the ‘Kaapa’ variety of jackfruit as it was from my parental home and yes it is very tasty too. Kaapa variety of jackfruit is not as soft as the Rasal variety and hence needs to be cooked so that it softens.
- 2 cups deseeded ripe jackfruit gives approximately 1 1/2 cups jackfruit pulp after cooking and blending it
- 1 cup idli rawa
- 1 cup hot water
- Approximately 1 cup grated jaggery OR depending upon the sweetness of jaggery to which 1/4th cup water is added to melt it
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 2 to 3 cloves or 1/8 tsp clove powder
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 banana leaf cut into the shape of the tin used to steam the cake, rinsed and wiped with a cloth
- Ghee as required to shallow fry the dhondas cubes OR to be used while serving steamed dhondas
- Rinse the deseeded jackfruit well and cook by adding water just enough to cook it. Cook the jackfruit till soft. Squeeze out the water from the jackfruit and keep it aside to use it later if required while blending. Blend the jackfruit to a smooth paste/pulp adding the water kept aside ONLY if required. Heat a separate pan and liquify the jaggery adding water mentioned. Add the jackfruit pulp and stir well to get an even mix, switch off the flame and keep aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a nonstick/ ceramic pan,add cloves or clove powder, saute till you get its aroma, if you are using whole cloves remove it, then add rawa and roast the idli rawa on low flame for about 4 minutes or till it slightly changes colour.Add hot water, the idli rawa will fluff up, stir well, add salt and mix well with a flat spatula. Cover with a steam release lid for a minute or so, so that it cooks a bit.
- Add the jackfruit, jaggery mix to the semi cooked idli rawa mix, it will thicken. Now add cardamom powder and mix well. Switch off the flame and with a flat spatula mix well taking care that there are no lumps.The idli rawa, jackfruit pulp, jaggery should be gelled into an even mix. There should be no lumps, so mix well. The mix will be thick since it is half cooked.
- In a container or flat plate, place banana leaf, grease it with a little ghee, add the half cooked mix gently and pat it gently with your palm greased with ghee. Cover it with a banana leaf greased with ghee and steam cook it for 15 minutes OR till a knife or toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
- Once done, let it cool, then remove the banana leaf, turn over the container/ plate on a larger flat plate, the jackfruit cake will get transferred to the flat plate easily. Remove the banana leaf, cut the cake into cubes, warm the dhondas bit on a tawa/ skillet and and serve it topped with melted ghee.
- I personally love this cake when roasted in ghee. Shallow fry the dhondas in ghee till golden brown on both sides and serve hot. Both variations taste great.
- The quantity of jaggery to be added depends on individual sweetness required, sweetness of the ripe jackfruit and also on the sweetness of jaggery.
- I transferred the mix into two 6″x 6″ tins.