Thursday, April 25, 2013

Enchor...Jackfruit curry

Jackfruit curry

Jackfruit is a popular summer fruit in Indian sub-continent and South-East Asian countries. This huge green fruit does not look too appealing for a first timer, but the inside golden yellow sweet fruits will easily win anyone's heart. As the ripe fruit has its popularity, the unripe or young jackfruit has its own as a vegetable.

Jackfruit curry

In Bengali the young jackfruit is called 'Enchor' (এঁচর or ইঁচর ). It has a subtle flavor and meat-like texture, because of that Bengalis call it 'Gach PaNtha' (fake or faux meat). Curries, chops, koftas are prepared from unripe jackfruit. Peeling and cutting this huge vegetable is a time consuming task. Moreover the sticky sap of jackfruit makes it more tedious and difficult. During my stay in the US we used to get canned young jackfruit, those are peeled and cubed, so no trouble on that part. Though the brine solution to preserve the vegetable makes it taste a bit sour. And of course a fresh vegetable will taste much better than a canned one. I have used both canned and fresh young jackfruit to make the curry, a typical Bengali enchorer torkari , following my mom-in-law's recipe.

Jackfruit curry

During summer I frequently make this curry. So while making it today I took my camera and clicked few images. Looking to the old images makes me laugh, they are so amateurish. Following image is an example.

Things needed to make Enchorer Torkari/ Jackfruit Curry:

  • Unripe or young jackfruit (cut into cubes): 2 cups
  • Potato (cubed): 1 medium size
  • Onion (finely chopped): 1/2 cup
  • Garlic (minced): 1 tbsp
  • Ginger paste: 1/2 tsbp
  • Tomato: 1 small
  • Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick: 1
  • Green cardamom: 3
  • Cloves: 3
  • Bay leaves: 1
  • Green chilies: 3-4
  • Mustard oil to cook
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar: 1 tsp + to taste
  • Ghee: 1-2 tsp

Steps of making Enchorer Torkari/ Jackfruit Curry:

1. If you are using canned jackfruit, then drain all the brine water and put the jackfruit pieces in a bowl full of water. After 20-30 min take out the jackfruit and again put them in some fresh water. Do this at least 3 times. Take a large pan or pressure cooker boil enough water to cover all the jackfruit pieces. As the water boils add the jackfruits. Cover and boil for 5-6 min. If using a pressure cooker, put the lid and wait till the pressure cooker makes a hissing sound, switch off heat and wait till the pressure releases. Drain all the water. These steps will make sure the canned jackfruit does not taste sour. 

2. If you are using a fresh jackfruit, then first peel the vegetable and cut into desired shape. Make sure to put plenty of oil to the knife and in your hand, jackfruit is very sticky. In a large bowl take water and add turmeric powder in it, dip the jackfruit pieces in it. This will help to get rid of the sticky sap. Pressure cook or boil the jackfruit pieces to half done, drain water.

3. Peel and wash potatoes, pat dry. Heat mustard oil (it compulsory to use mustard oil to get the original taste and flavor) in a deep pan. When the oil is smoking hot, fry the potato cubes till golden brown. Take out the potato pieces with a slotted spoon. Fry the jackfruit pieces the same way and keep aside.

4. In the same oil add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves. Cook for 1 min. Add the minced garlic, cook over medium heat for 1 min or till the garlic starts to change color. Add a teaspoon of sugar, mix well. Add onion, cover and cook for 3-4 min. Uncover and cook till the onions take a nice red-brown color. Add ginger paste (preferably freshly made). Cook for 1-2 min or till the raw smell of ginger is gone. Add chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle little salt, cover and cook till the tomatoes are done.

5. Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, green chilies (chopped or whole), add a little water, mix well. As the mixture starts to release oil, add the fried potato and jackfruit, mix well. Add enough hot water to cover the vegetables, let the water boil, add salt, cover and cook till the vegetables are done. This dish will have a thick gravy.

6. Add sugar, ghee and garam masala powder, mix well. Switch off heat, cover the pan and let it rest for sometime, serve hot with steamed rice.

Again an old image :)

Jackfruit curry

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  1. Hi Chitrangada,The cooked tender jackfruit looks so much like meat curry.I bet it tastes awesome with mustard oil and the ghee.

    1. Meena, Yes it is quite different, as mostly people know about jackfruit as fruit rather than a vegetable. But if you can get your hand on some fresh or canned unripe jackfruit, go for it. I'm sure you will love it.

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  3. We too use jackfruit for curries and there's so many varieties, from the Malay style and Indian style. I adore this curry so so much, the punchy thick gravy with the fruit is something I will eat all the way.

  4. Just tried my first jackfruit curry and it was I know how to do it properly. Thanks. Any suggestions for it to have a firmer meatlike texture?