Jackfruit Curry

I am quite a fan of jackfruit. But I have only had it cooked as a dry dish. Most often, as a thoran. Sometimes, a North Indian preparation. There are several types of jackfruits. For thoran, the best results are with elongated, tender jackfruits called idi chakka. This variety is not available in North India – so I make do with what is available here. But I do find it in speciality shops for the Malayalee festivals of Vishu and Onam.
But I felt like something different when I got jackfruit the last time. And therefore decided to experiment with a curry – with lip-smacking results!

Jackfruit Curry

500 gms raw jackfruit (kathal, chakkai)
30 shallots (use a couple of big onions if shallots are not available)
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup coconut, scraped fresh
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
4 dry red chilis, de-seeded and broken into two pieces
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, for garnish
Salt to taste
Chop the jackfruit into 1″ cubes
Pressure cook with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, salt and just enough water for 2-3 whistles
Let steam release naturally and open the lid
Set aside
Heat a wok and add 10 shallots, cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, garlic and coconut
Roast for about 5 minutes
Switch off flame and let it cool
Transfer to a blender
Add the remaining turmeric powder, half the chili powder, tamarind pulp and a little water
Grind to a smooth paste
Set aside
Slice 10 shallots
Heat a wok again and add the remaining mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the sliced shallots and the remaining 10 whole shallots
Sauté till the shallots are translucent
Add red chilis and curry leaves
Sauté for a few seconds
Add the jackfruit pieces
Add remaining chili powder and mix well
Cook for 3-4 minutes
Add the ground paste and just enough water to make a thick gravy
Add salt
Cover and cook for 10 minutes
Switch off flame and transfer the dish to a serving bowl
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
Serve hot with red/brown rice or Indian bread

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