Jackfruit is a fruit I loved eating when I was growing up (and still do). There are a lot of people who do not like eating it because they cannot get past the smell. My brother, for instance, could not stand the aroma. To me though, the aroma is wonderful. Jackfruit is also a ‘cousin’ of Durian. Now that is a smell I cannot get over. It is so stinky to some people, that in South East Asia they ban the fruit from hotels. I did get around to trying a candy made out of Durian and did not like it. Okay, back to the one that I like which is the variety that you get in India, it is a bit of a challenge to tackle. It starts off with a spiny skin, you cut the jackfruit into half, then quarters. Then you oil your hands well and hopefully you have spread newspaper all over the counter. Then you start pulling each of the fruit pods out. The reason for the oil is that the pods are held to the fruit with this glue like substance and the oil prevents it from sticking to your fingers. Each of the fruit pods have a large seed that a lot of people roast and then use.
Now that we have spoken at length about the fruit, this recipe came about because a friend of mine had told me he made a Jackfruit curry and then told me how he made it. I looked over the internet and all the recipes used the unripe fruit. Apparently the unripe version is fairly common across India. So I decided I was going to try making it – now the version I made was spicier as I added hot sauce to it (which I have left out of the recipe) but if you want an even bigger kick go ahead and add 2 tablespoons of Maggie hot and sweet. I also used a canned variety and drained all the syrup out of the can.
Pile this spicy jack-fruit filling into warmed pitas, and serve with yogurt.
- 2 Tablespoon oil
- 1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 Serrano pepper, minced
- 2 teaspoons red chili powder
- 3 teaspoons cumin-coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 6 cloves crushed
- 3 pods of cardamom, shells removed and seeds crushed
- 4 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 20-oz. can ripe jack-fruit in syrup, rinsed, drained, and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onions. Cook the onions (stirring occasionally) until they have softened and are translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger, green chile and cook for a minute. Add the chili powder, cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder and crushed cloves and cardamom and stir for a minute.
Add the chopped jack-fruit, ketchup and lemon juice. Stir and cover and cook on a medium low for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. When done remove the cover add the salt and cook for another minute and serve.