The IT professional started selling the jam-like preserve prepared from ripe jackfruit during the lockdown
The pandemic-induced lockdown gave a chance for many wannabe entrepreneurs to hone their skills. Sreeveena S, a software engineer, is among them. Her calling card has been home-made chakkavaratti, the jam-like preserve prepared from ripe jackfruit.
“The dessert has been my favourite and I relish the long process of making it at home. Now that I am working from home, I had extra hours on my hands to do something that I enjoy. Jackfruit season was at its peak during April and that’s when I thought of making chakkavaratti on a large scale. When I posted what Imade on social media platforms, especially on the woman’s group Her Trivandrum and Eat At Trivandrum, the response was so overwhelming that I decided to continue making the preserve till the end of the jackfruit season,” says the 30-year-old, a resident of Manacaud in the capital city.
Although she had sold homemade snacks and sweets during last year’s Deepavali, this is her first full-fledged attempt at being a home cook! “I realised that chakkavaratti evokes nostalgia for many Keralites. I had a customer living in a house surrounded by jackfruit trees. But she is unable to make chakkavaratti that requires long hours of stirring as the fruit pulp and the jaggery melt into each other in generous amounts of ghee,” Sreeveena says.
Her mother, Seethalekshmy, lends a helping hand with cutting and cooking and they make it twice a week, usually on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Then varikka, Chembarathi varikka, Unda varikka and Vella varikka are the varieties she commonly uses. “A dealer from Kollam has been supplying the fruits on a weekly basis. The last batch of the fruit has already arrived,” she says. Customised varatti is also available. “There are customers who don’t like chukku (dried ginger) and cardamom in the preparation and so I avoid it. Some of my customers wanted me to replace organic jaggery with palm jaggery,” she adds.
With a shelf life of six months, the gooey varatti can also be used as bread spread or to make payasam, elayappam, unniyappam and the like. It is available in 250g, 500g and one kg and above packs.