Friday, April 29, 2016

Curried Jackfruit Pot Pies

Curried jackfruit pot pie
Curried jackfruit pot pies
This is the season when tender jackfruits are pickled and made into curries. Despite an abundance of the fruit here in our region I haven't really explored enough possibilities with jackfruit. But the idea of using curried chicken or potatoes have always appealed to me. It is like another variation of parathas.:) Just flakier and with more butter. So why not use jackfruit in a filling as well?

The jackfruit I got wasn't as tender as I thought it would be. The seed coating had formed but it was at its tender-most stage. Cutting and cleaning the fruit is messy and it's not an exercise I would like to repeat soon. Because of the latex that oozes out when the fruit is cut one needs well-oiled hands as well as knives! I always line my worktop with a banana leaves. It becomes so much easier to remove the mess at one go...straight into my compost pit.
I used one large fruit but half of it was made into pickle. From the other half that was curried, only about 2 cups were used for the pot pie. The rest will be an accompaniment to our breakfast parathas.

Curried jackfruit pot pie
Curried jackfruit
The curry that I used for the pie filling.
1 medium jackfruit, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces (Since only half of the jackfruit was used for this dish, it is the equivalent of using a medium jackfruit)
3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
3 onions, peeled and grated
12 cloves of garlic, peeled and ground
1" piece ginger,  peeled and ground
1 tbs red chilli powder
1 tsp coarsely grated peppercorns
1 tbs coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
4 tbs vegetable oil
3-4 Indian bayleaves
1 star anise
1/2 cup freshly-made tomato sauce
A little sugar for the balance
Garam masala paste made from freshly-ground---
1" cinnamon stick
3 green cardamoms
6 cloves 
Method:
~ Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Mix the jackfruit pieces with salt and turmeric and set aside till the water is ready.
~ Boil the vegetable till tender but not overdone. Drain in a colander.
~ Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the Indian bayleaves and star anise.
~ Fry the grated onions till they turn translucent. Add the ground ginger and garlic and add the rest of the spices.
~ Continue to cook till the colour starts to look good. Then add the boiled jackfruit pieces.
~ Stir well. Season with salt. Cook till the oil separates then add the boiled potatoes. 
~ Add the tomato sauce.
~ Add a little sugar for the balance. Check the seasoning and make adjustments.
~ Pour about a cup of water for the gravy. Let it thicken. The amount of water will depend on how thick you want your gravy to be.
~ Before removing the pan from the stove, add the garam masala and give it a good stir.
~ Before serving, garnish the dish with some chopped herbs. Here I used serrated coriander.
The Indian bay leaves and star anise can be removed once the dish is done.
The cumin and coriander were roasted and ground. I make them in small batches. 
I spent the morning yesterday making fresh tomato sauce with home-grown and store-bought tomatoes. With the rains coming early, most of my plants are dying and I have had to pick tomatoes before their time. It's the recipe for the basic pasta sauce that also go well in curries.
No neat edges...but good enough to be eaten!:)
And now for the pies....
Pastry dough, enough for two pies
1 egg beaten, for the egg-wash
I used shortcrust pastry that I had made earlier for a quiche. It helps to have a remainder in the fridge!:)
~ Fill the pie pans with the curried jackfruit. 
~ Roll out the pastry dough (after it comes to the point where it can be rolled out) a little bigger than the  pan.
~ Wet the edges with water and place it over the pan and press down the edges. Use a fork or a knife to create little holes for the steam to escape.
~ If you like, you can cut out some patterns to decorate the pastry top.
~ Brush with beaten egg and bake in a preheated 180C oven till the pie is golden brown.
~ Serve when it is still warm. This is a meal in itself and very filling!
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