Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jackfruit Curry

Ingredients for the curry
It's jackfruit season in our region now. The tender ones are usually made into curry or pickled during this time of the year. Mid-summer is when they ripen and till now my memories of  childhood summers are a potpourri of ripening mangoes and jackfruit. The strong yet delicious smells would pervade the air. Although there were other fruits ripening as well, the smell of these two would dominate. Today's curry is the way we always cooked it. I do a few variations at times but still come back to this kind of simple cooking.

Jackfruit tree in my mother's garden




As you can see from the picture above the innards give out a milky sticky latex when cut. So hands must be oiled and the knife as well. It's easier to clean up afterwards. My worktop was lined with banana leaves to make it less messy.

Jackfruit curry

Ingredients:-

One tender medium jackfruit

8-10 dried red chillies, soaked and ground to a paste

3 onions (medium), grated

5 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped

1 tablespoon of  cumin, toasted and ground

1 tablespoon of coriander,    ,,

A quarter teaspoon of turmeric + extra for mixing into the fruit before cooking

3-4 Indian bay leaves/tejpatta

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

A quarter teaspoon mustard seeds

A 1" piece of ginger, ground

A small bunch of serrated coriander for the garnish

A teaspoon of freshly ground garam masala paste

Salt to taste

About 4 tablespoons of Mustard oil + extra for greasing hands and knife

Method:-

With well-oiled hands and knife cut the jackfruit, first intro halves and then into quarters. Peel and chop into bite-size pieces. Heat water in a pan. Mix about a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder and some salt on the  chopped pieces and keep aside till the water becomes hot. Then add the jackfruit and boil till it becomes nearly soft. This will take between 15-20 minutes. Drain.

Heat the mustard oil in a pan. When it comes to smoking point, add the mustard seeds and the tejpatta. Put in the onions and stir. Then add all the rest of the spices except the garam masala. Fry for about five minutes before adding the drained jackfruit. Stir well till the fruit is covered in all the spices. Add salt to taste. Cook for another twenty minutes or so. Add about two cups of hot water to the curry. Check to see if it's done. It should be soft but not mushy. Stir in the garam masala paste. There should be very little gravy in this dish. Take it off the heat and garnish with finely chopped serrated coriander. This curry goes well with rice and rotis.

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