Back in December, when I was in Kolkata, I was at a family gathering and was given a curry that tasted absolutely delicious. Deep in conversation I ate the curry, pausing after a few mouthfuls to ask what ‘meat’ it was as I couldn’t quite work it out and thought perhaps it was pork. The answer was ‘green jack fruit’. Somewhat surprised but delighted that such a fruit could taste so ‘meat-like’ in structure. It was substantial, filling and utterly delicious. In the photo below it is the curry bottom right.
Fast forward a few months and I’m down in Tooting taking some clients on a spice tour before heading back to my house to teach some Indian recipes. One of my shopkeeper friends – Rohit – delighted us all by giving us a plate of his delicious jackfruit curry that he had just made – it tasted divine and prompted one of my clients to immediately buy a fresh green jackfruit to take home to replicate the curry. I love enthusiastic foodies.
- Once you cut into the jackfruit – cut into rounds and then use a serrated knife to cut away the tough outer skin – it is VERY sticky. Place a little oil on your hand that will touch the jackfruit to prevent the stickiness from covering your hand.
If you are keen to join me on a spice tour of Tooting followed by an Indian cooking class at my house- send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Jack Fruit Curry
kindly given to me by Rohit – my friendly Asian grocer in Tooting
2 tbsp vegetable oil (you can use mustard too)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried red chilli, broken in two
5 fresh garlic, roughly chopped
2 inches of fresh ginger, skin removed and finely grated, chopped also fine
1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing
2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced
2 or 3 large white onions, finely chopped
salt, to taste
1tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1x 400g tin of tomatoes OR 3 or 4 large tomatoes diced
1 small green jackfruit, cut into rounds and then skin removed and then cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tsp garam masala
- First cut and peel the jackfruit and then cut into 2 inch pieces and place in a pan of boiling water so that it covers the jackfruit completely. Allow to boil for 20 minutes so that the jackfruit softens. It will never be soft, like potato for example, but when you place a sharp knife into one piece it will go in easily. Drain and keep to one side.
- In a different pan, heat the oil and when it is hot add the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dried red chilli. Move around the pan for 20 seconds and then add the chopped garlic and ginger and move around the pan for a minute.
- Now add the asafoetida/hing and fresh green chillies. Stir.
- Add the chopped white onion and some salt (to speed up the cooking time for the onion)and move around the pan, mixing all the ingredients together. Allow the onions to pick up some colour – lightly bronzed. This will take 10-12 minutes.
- Add the coriander, cumin and turmeric powders and stir once again.
- Add the tomatoes and mix together before adding the cooked green jackfruit. Stir gently into the sauce and add the water. Add the garam masala and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Checking the salt and add more if necessary.
Do YOU have any spectacular green jack fruit curries that you would like to share? Please do so in the comments box below.