Tuesday, August 10, 2010
panruti selvam (wealth of panruti)
i was born in a village not very far off from panruti. the only thing i knew about this small town was that one of my mother's cousins lived there for many years.i was astonished to read recently that it is now referred to as the 'jackfruit paradise'. i love jackfruits and therefore i read this article running into many pages without dropping the magazine even for a second. the fruit is available in panruti throughout the year and it is supposed to be the best of its kind in the country. in bali island last week,i had tasted its jackfruits and heard about its durians. indian jackfruits are fatter and sweeter.
known as kathal (bihar/up), palaa pazham (tamil nadu), chekka (kerala),halsu (karnataka),panasa (telugu) and phansi (maharashtra), this delectable fruit when sliced and taken with honey gives you an ecstasy beyond words. while in kerala and karnataka growing jackfruits is infradig,it is clearly not so in this sleepy town. people are proud to grow jackfruits and prouder that they are making a big profit in doing so.
why are panruti jackfruits so sweet? it is perhaps the soil condition and climate. panruti has a long stretch of dry weather and it is a low rainfall area. the biggest pala pazham from panruti recently weighed as much as 70 kgs and has gained a probable place in the 'guiness book of world records'.
kerala state has taken the initiataive to spread the awareness of jackfruit and it organised the first jackfruit festival about four years ago.more and more fairs are being held and its awareness as a terrific fruit is on the increase. it also pays to grow jackfruit. estimated to earn the farmer Rs 60,000 an acre, it is clearly a money spinner. it is resistant to drought.it helps in recharging groundwater.it is very nutritious and its leaves are eaten by goats and used to wrap steamed idlis.the tree after about 25 years has a good saleable value. the soft wood is used for making musical instruments like veena and mridangam and furniture as well. what more can you ask for from this kalpataru?
jackfruit is a great energizer. it has vitamin A,beta-carotene and lutein,vitamin B complex,vitamin C,potassium,magnesium, manganese and iron. its flesh has dietary fibre. a variety of sweet dishes can be made and there is tremendous scope for the entrepreneur for value added jackfruit products like jackfruit jam, papad etc. for me palaa pazham paysam with jaggery and coconut milk is something to die for. its seeds can be boiled like beans and added to sambhar and make it tastier!
what more versatality can you ask for in this humble fruit? mango,banana and jackfruits are the three fruits considered to be sacred by hindus.
i just now realized that in june 2007 i had posted three articles in series on this jack of all fruits. if you are interested, please go to my archives.