While the rest of the world has only viewed raw jackfruit as a ‘vegan sensation’—an alternative to meat—I can’t help but show off the fact that we Indians have been using the fruit in more ways than they could possibly imagine.
While ripe jackfruit finds love in south India, the north swears by its raw version. With my family’s roots in Uttar Pradesh, jackfruit has been a part of our daily menu since time immemorial, from mouthwatering pakoras to pickles. And why wouldn’t it, after all, the fruit has got this magical ability to adapt to spices and gravies, easily taking its place in a variety of dishes.
Also read: Different ways to cook with jackfruit
This fiery yet indulgent curry is one of my favourites from my grandma’s kitchen and not for the faint hearted. My dadi’s (paternal grandma) katahar aka kathal ki sabzi is worth every second of the time and effort you put in.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the curry that’s a task, but prepping the raw jackfruit. The tough-skinned fruit needs some pro-level skills to peel and cut.
Ingredients (Serves 5):
½ cup chana dal and 2 tsp raw rice, soaked together in water for an hour
½ kg raw jackfruit, peeled and chopped
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp garlic, minced
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 and ½ tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
½ garam masala powder
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander for garnish
1. Boil water in a pot and cook the raw jackfruit chunks in it for about 15-20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, strain the water from chana dal and rice and grind it into thick, smooth paste.
3. Heat oil in a kadhai and add fenugreek seeds to the oil.
4. Temper the seeds until slightly brown then add garlic, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder.
5. Cook the spices for a couple of minutes, then add the lentil-rice paste. Mix it all together and let it cook for 10 minutes or until the oil begins to separate from the sides. Occasionally stir the mixture to prevent it from burning and sticking to the pan.
6. Add the boiled jackfruit and fold it in gently in the masala.
7. Cover and cook on medium flame for 5 minutes.
8. Take off the lid, add water and mix the ingredients again. Now, let it cook for about 10 minutes or until the gravy comes to a boil.
9. When the gravy reaches semi-thick consistency, turn off the flame and add garam masala.
10. Garnish the katahar ki sabzi with some freshly chopped coriander and serve it with a hot bowl of steamed rice.
Image used for representational purpose only
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