April 12, 2022

#BlogchatterA2Z: J for Jackfruit in Goa - 5 Goan delicacies made from jackfruit

If you are a vegetarian who enjoys preservative-free, healthy, organic food, and have stumbled upon this post, please continue reading. You are in for a treat. 

Today’s topic is dedicated to Goa’s unsung hero of fruits, the multifaceted, multiuseful, ever-so-humble, jack of all fruits…the jackfruit

The jackfruit (also called jak) is the largest tree-borne fruit and has been in cultivation in India for the past 3,000 to 6,000 years. 

The tree is pollinated by stingless bees called Tetragonulaa Iridipennis.

In Goa, the jackfruit is locally called ‘Panas’. There are two varieties of panas found here. One is the firmer, crisper variety known as Kaapa panas, and the other is the soft, pulpy variety called Rasaal. The former can be eaten raw, while the latter is difficult to eat (owing to its soft slippery texture) and is mostly juiced or it’s pulp is used in cooking. 

Like I’ve said in my previous posts, we Goans find a way to celebrate small joys. 

Pansache Fest’ is one such celebration. Organised by Marius Fernandes, Socorro Church’s parish priest Fr Santana Carvalho and villagers from Socorro, this is a local gala event that exhibits and sells various jackfruit delicacies. Pansache fest is conducted every year on 24th June and is held in tandem with Sao Joao activities.

That said, you don’t always need to attend a festival to celebrate. There is a feast going on in every Goan household, with different local preparations being cooked using the panas during the jackfruit season (March to June, and September to December).

Below are five delicacies prepared from jackfruit in Goa. You may want to give these a try:

1) Pansache Dhonas: a local jackfruit cake of sorts made from the pulp of the rasaal variety of jackfruit, coconut jaggery, and semolina, either steamed in a double boiler or oven baked at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. It is delicious in taste and can give  store bought cakes a run for their monty.

 2) Jackfruit leather (also called ‘Pansache saatth’)- this is dehydrated fruit cut into chewy flexible sheets like leather (hence the name) made from fresh jackfruit pulp. Jackfruit leather made from fresh jackfruit is nutritious and rich in dietary fibre, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

3) Jaffee - this is a coffee made from jackfruit seeds, which are dried and roasted before they are ground into a fine powder that imitates the taste of cocoa seeds. This powder doesn’t contain caffeine and can be stored for six months in an airtight container.  Jaffee is prepared just like filter coffee, using this powder as substitute for coffee beans. 

4) Pansachi patollyo - This is a variation to the traditional Goan Patollyo (check my post on Goan desserts) and is made in a similar manner, the only difference being here, the stuffing is essentially made of jackfruit. 

5) Jackfruit chips - crispy, crunchy, and tasty, these are a popular Goan snack prepared by deep frying thin vertical strips of half-ripe jackfruit kernel. 

There are numerous other innovative  preparations that Goans make using the the seeds, kernel, and even the rags of the jackfruit. From juices to chutneys, from bhakri to curries, from cakes to cutlets, Goans are always  experimenting with their recipes, thanks to a healthy annual harvest of the humble fruit. 

If it wasn't for the bounty that nature has bestowed us with, we wouldn't be able to enjoy this plethora of  scrumptious dishes. So in all delight and humility, we raise a special cheer and say, ‘Obrigado, Goa!

I hope to see you all tomorrow.

Until then,

Mog aasu di.

(Let there be love!)


I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z. 

My theme for the challenge is ‘Obrigado, Goa!’, under which I’ll be writing 26 posts on Goa (April 1-30th, excluding Sundays), each post corresponding to the letters of the English alphabet. You can read more about it in my theme reveal post


Sonia dogra said...

I am amazed at the number of dishes we can get from jackfruit, including coffee! This is very informative Priyanka.

Anagha Yatin said...

I got nostalgic with your post on Jackfruit! My granny's backyard had a big Phanas tree and each summer we would wake up to the sweet smell of Phanas and Alphanso from the orchard.
One of my best friends from Sharjah used to make a yummy Jack fruit Paysum.
Oh I so miss all that.
And Phanas leather(we call it Phanas Poli) and Phanas chips are my favourites.

Pri said...

You're most welcome, Sonia. Having relished all of them, I can safely vouch for their 'awesomeness'. :D
Next time you plan to visit Goa, do plan it around the jackfruit season.

Pri said...

Glad to meet the phanas fan in you, Anagha. :D
Yes, jackfruit chips and jackfruit leather are wonderful.
But I like it in the purest form ('ghare') best! Delightful to eat and most convenient, since there is no cooking/making effort that is required. 😄