May 29, 2007
JFI-JackFruit....Chakka Mezhukuparatti/Jackfruit Side dish
Jugalbandi got the oppurtunity to host the JFI for this month and what do they pick as the theme-Jackfruit!!! As if trying to meet deadlines was not hard enough, I had to prod the imagination to find Jackfruit here. Along with mangoes, jackfruit with all their pungent smell and gooey taste is what I miss about Kerala.
All this month, Jugal bandi have been showcasing Jackfruit (since they found a fresh one at their local Thai grocery), with unfairly drool worthy pictures of the plump fruit before they cut it, after they cut it, after they roasted the seeds,, after they cooked it...Thank God there was no pictures of the aftermath.:)
Then Inji chimed in, showing off the jackfruit sent to her.a..ar..gh...
So anyway, I realy wanted to participate in the JFI this time, except that I have no jackfruit/chakka in sight in the East Coast.
I resorted to my standby- frozen jackfruit but the local Indian groceries didn't carry it. Finally found one in Oak Tree Road (Is there anything Indian you can't find there?)and made a mezhukuparatti or veg side dish, if you want to call it that.
The recipe is my friend's and I first had this yummy dish at her house. It tends to be on the sweeter side depending on the ripeness of the jackfruit but goes well as a foil to any spicy curry. This is one of the vegetables or fruits, I don't mind using frozen. No cleaning, and I don't have to deal with any of the messy glue which surrounds the fleshy fruit and the mezhkuparatti gets cooked in a jiffy.
You Will Need:
Green Jackfruit(Pachcha chakka)
(finely chopped) –450 gms or 1 lb
Cumin seeds(Jeerakam) – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Hot Green Chilies – 4 nos slit vertically.
Garlic pods – 1 or 2
Curry leaves – one sprig
Dry Red Chilies – 2 nos
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp or as needed
Salt to taste
1. Defrost the jackfruit pieces by soaking it in water for 10-15 minutes. Drain well and cut into strips using a kitchen scissor.
2. Heat oil in a pan or a kadai. Lower the heat, add mustard seeds and cover till it stops spluttering. Now add the red chillies broken into 2-3 pieces, green chilies and curry leaves.
3.Add the jackfruit slivers, turmeric and salt. Lower the heat, add 2 tablespoon water, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Open, stir to mix well and check to see if it is done. Add more oil if needed to avoid sticking to the pan.
4. Crush the shallots and garlic coarsely with a mortar and pestle and add to the pan. Mix well and it may take a couple of minutes of sauteing more with continuous stirring. The shallot-garlic mix can be omitted if prefered. Make sure the jackfruit doesn't get overcooked else it will stick to each other. Serve with rice.