Jack Fruit Festival - Chennai 2015

I remember seeing advertisements for this festival right from the end of January itself. Initially, thought of visiting them and later, I realised I would not be able to as I had other important commitments. Who the hell am I to plan things months in advance. In matter of minutes my plans for the entire month of May, turned upside down. Nah!!! It's always like this with me. Things that I usually plan for months never workout for me. And last minute decisions will happen perfectly :O Same way, visiting Chennai Trade Centre happened just like that and we started in 15 minuted from the time the idea was proposed. This festival !!! was inaugurated on May 1 and is on till May 3, 2015 - 8.30 p.m Entry is free. Couldn't stop the feeling of being in Mallu's as everywhere you turn I saw only chettans, chechis, kuttans and kunjoos. At the reception, you have to buy coupons to exchange at the counters for food. A booklet costs 500 and after ending the jack fruit tour, you can get reimbursement for the coupons (if anything is left). 10 counters selling various products made of Jack fruit, raw jack fruit, jack fruit seed and anything associated with jack fruit. Some of the items on the list freaked me out. Like biriyani with jacck fruit :/ Nicely spaced counters, with a big name boards listing the items served in each counter categorised under different genre. We started with counter 1 and ended at 10.

First we had jack fruit cutlet and spring roll. Cutlet was super spicy and pasty with mild flavour of jackfruit. Spring roll was so so. The stuffing was very less.

Moved on to the Jackfruit Tacos. I'm kicking myself for trying this one out. With traces of jack fruit pieces it was the flop of the day. The ice cream counter was set by Saravana Bhavan !!! The ice cream was average. It would've been better with some tiny pieces of the fruit. I didn't like the jack fruit juice either. It was a packed one and had a bitter after taste. The star of the day was the jack fruit milk shake. Priced at 70 bucks, it was super tasty and yummy and creamy. It was so good that I grabbed one more cup in the end :)

The traditional items like Kumbilappam, adai (cooked in banana leaf) were pretty decent. Would've tasted great, if there was a oven around to warm them. Tasted the jack fruit jelly, peda and bread pudding. None of these were impressive :/ Finally got my hands on the chakka puzhukku. First time I'm tasting this dish. It was like a fusion of haleem and aviyal. Haleem for the consistency and aviyal for the taste. But I like it a lot. Served with kadala curry, it was good.

This little fella was explaining about the process of making Kumbilappam and Ila adai very patiently to each and everyone visiting the stall.

A humongous 30kg jack fruit on display

Fresh jack fruit with red poha & jaggery filling

Overall, the traditional items were pretty decent and the fusion/western ones were utter flop. For an experience, you can pay a visit tomorrow. Otherwise not worth calling it a festival n all.

Chennai Jackfruit Festival is happening in Chennai Trade Centre, Nandanam. It's till tmrw, May 3, 2015 - 8.30 pm. They open at 11.30 am in the morning and entry is free.

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