Raw Jackfruit Curry – No onion no garlic

Jackfruit is a wonder of nature and we are blessed to get its bounty here. A tropical fruit mainly but also extends in subtropical zones predominant in south Asia, South east Asia and Africa. The ripe fruit is supple, succulent, juicy, sweet, flavourful and aromatic and people do like or hate it for its aroma. Even though many of us may not like the ripe ones, yet most of us would definitely like the raw ones which can easily substitute meat for the vegetarians and vegans. The fruit is definitely a wonder food or a wonder ingredient since both the raw or ripe forms and its seeds are all loved by us.

This divine fruit is packed with nutrients and is a ready source of simple as well as complex carbohydrates and is also an alluring fruit for birds, flies, bugs, rodents, animals including monkeys and definitely humans. This tropical fruit is rich in potassium & has a plenty of dietary fibres which keeps the bowel healthy. The fruit aids in lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease, stroke, and even bone loss. It also helps fighting skin diseases. The high amount of vitamin C in the fruit helps in protecting skin from sun damages. However, you may have to keep a check on its heavy intake, since the fruit especially the ripe ones are a little higher on calorie count, and little hot and heavy for the stomach. Also, the ripe fruit can be allergic to many. Although the raw ones are less tastier as a fruit but is better in terms of heaviness and digestibility and tastes excellent as a vegetable in curries or pickled.

As a bengali, I grew up with this fruit enjoying its flavour during our summer holidays, since in our native place in Silchar as well as my maternal grandpa’s house in Digboi, Assam, we had quite a few jack fruit trees in the backyard and during our visit we would gorge on these jumbo fruits. Since I personally do not like the ripe ones from my childhood, it was more fascinating for me to enjoy eating the cooked raw jackfruit, which all our elders including my grandpa funnily called as “Gaachh Paathaa” which in Bengali means “tree mutton” or simply tree or plant based mutton to allure children in having it because kids otherwise have very little or no fondness in experimenting with such exotic veggies. But yes, the flesh of the raw fruit indeed tastes similar to mutton in its texture, feel and taste and is preferably cooked in a similar way with same or similar spices and condiments as in a mutton or meat curry. Hence, kids are usually interested in this veggie fruit as compared to other vegetables when cooked like meat.

During the chaitra sankranti, the day before the “Poila Boishakh” or the bengali new year, it is customary in most bengali households or in the east bengali households to have this raw jackfruit curry in their meal. However, on this particular occasion, the recipe must be without onion or garlic, which is also a flavourful and delicious version of it along with a menu of raw neem leaves fry, bitter gourd fry & raw mango daal for lunch. For me as a child this was perhaps the worst menu of a year, but as I grew up I gradually started finding taste in it and now this is indeed my most favourite item in the menu. I just wanted to share with you all, this special recipe from my grandmother, mother and aunts for the special occasion of chaitra shankranti. Here, comes the recipe if you want to give it a try :


Ingredients :

1) Raw jackfruit : 1 (approx. 1 kg weight)

2) Bengal gram (soaked & ground to paste) : 1/2 cup

3) Potatoes (cut into medium sized cubes) : 2 (big-sized)

4) Ginger (grated) : 1 tsp

5) Green chillies : 3-4

6) Coriander powder : 2 tsp

7) Cumin powder : 2 tsp

8) Turmeric powder : 1 tsp

9) Red Chilli powder : 1/2 tsp

10) Dry red chillies (whole) : 1-2 pc.

11) Bay leaves : 1 or 2

12) Bengali Garam Masala (Cinnamon & Cardamom ground together) : Cinnamon – 1 inch, Cardamom – 2 to3

13) Paanchphoron ( cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, mustard seeds or fennel seeds) : 1/2 tsp.

14) Mustard oil : 1/2 cup (total)

15) Salt : to taste.

16) Sugar : 1/4th tsp

Preparation :

1. Cut the jackfruit into medium-sized pieces. ( Note : For overcoming the inconvenience caused due to presence of sap around the fruit, soak it in water with a pinch of turmeric for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting, this makes its handling easier.

2. Soak the bengal gram for at least an hour to grind  it into a smooth paste.

3. Heat oil in a wok or kadai, take small portions of the bengal gram paste & put them in the oil for making pakoras or fritters by deep frying them over a medium flame.

4. Fry them till they turn slightly golden, switch off the flame & keep the pakoras aside.

5. Boil the jackfruit pieces in a pressure cooker for just 1 whistle and bring them down.

6. Now, in a pan or kadai, saute the pieces of jackfruit and potato cubes with little oil, salt and a pinch of turmeric, over a medium flame.

7. Bring down from the flame & keep aside.

8. Again, heat oil in a kadai, add dry red chilli and saute till it becomes darker.

9. Add bay leaf, saute & add the paanchphoron. Let it splatter.

10. Add ginger paste, saute & then add coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder to the mixture.

11. Saute them well over a low flame till the spices are nicely blended releasing a mild aroma and the mixture starts to separate oil.

12. Add the previously sauteed jackfruit & potato pieces to the spice mixture and mix them well.

13. Add salt and sugar to it and mix, sprinkle few drops of water & saute the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes over a low flame.

14. Add water to it to get the desired consistency of the gravy and add garam masala (cinnamon + cardamom) powder & bring it to boil. ( Note : The gravy is usually neither too thick nor too runny in consistency).

15. Add the fried bengal gram fritters, cover and let it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

16. Simmer for another 1 minute and switch off the flame.

17. Your yummy Kaathaal or Jack Fruit curry is now ready to be served. Enjoy this flavourful curry with piping hot steamed plain rice.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Indira says:

    Yummy dish! We make dry dish with raw jackfruit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks !🤗…..Oh ! that’s wonderful !👍

      Liked by 1 person

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