About This Recipe
During festive seasons, it can be hard to avoid the social pressure to eat, especially when homemade sweets are everywhere. When I go to holiday gatherings in India, I like to bring a celebratory dish to share so there’s a healthier option on the table. This is essentially a jam, but by playing up the textural similarity to halwa through flavoring and garnish, you can transform an energy-packed recipe into a special occasion treat. Unlike a traditional Indian halwa — which involves cooking wheat semolina, lentils, or vegetables in sugar and ghee — this vegan, oil-free recipe relies mostly on the natural sweetness of ripe jackfruit.
Jackfruit has higher protein content than a lot of other fruits, making it a good choice for vegetarians. It is also rich in vitamins A and C and essential minerals like riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. Cardamom and pistachios add antioxidants; while the spice may also have mood-lifting and digestive benefits, the nut is rich in B vitamins, which helps convert food into energy, mitigate the stress response, and are an important component for healthy blood cells.
Equipment: Potato masher, blender
- 2 cups (500 g) ripe jackfruit (deseeded pieces)
- ½ cup organic dark jaggery powder or coconut sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 Tbsp chopped pistachio
Step 1Chop the deseeded jackfruit bulbs into small, fine pieces or use a blender to roughly purée them.
Step 2In a medium pan over high heat, add the jackfruit, jaggery, and ½ a cup of the water. Mix well and cover. Once the mix is simmering, lower the heat and let it cook covered for about 40 to 50 minutes, stirring frequently. If at any point the jam is sticking, add a bit more water, up to ½ cup.
Step 3As the fruit softens, mash it with a potato masher. Once it's well mashed, simmer uncovered for another 10 to 20 minutes for a firmer texture.
Step 4Once the jam is glossy and smooth, add the apple cider vinegar and stir well. For that halwa-like flavor, stir in the cardamom powder, then remove it from the heat.
Step 5Plate and garnish with slivered pistachios.
Level up: Sprinkle silver edible leaf on top for an opulent traditional touch.
Try it with: Rooibos-Masala Chai
Zero waste: If you prepped your jackfruit from scratch, save the seeds! They are packed with nutrition and can be boiled and sautéed for a healthy snack.