Jackfruit Two Ways – Kofta and Stir Fried with Besan

I love Jackfruit. I have some really fond memories attached to this vegetable/fruit. I grew up at a farm where it grew in abundance and my grandmother and mother would make all sorts of preparations with it including pickles. I recently wrote a piece on Jackfruit and how it is eaten across India for The Goya Journal, read it here.

In this post I am sharing two of my favourite recipes – Jackfruit or Kathal ke Kofte and Kathal Stir Fried with Besan. Both the recipes use tender jackfruit.

Jackfruit Kofta

Ingredients

For kofta
Tender jackfruit – 500 gms (peeled and cut)
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard oil – for deep frying

For curry
Onions – 2 large
Tomatoes – 2 large
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Green coriander for garnish

Method
1. Place the jackfruit in a pressure cooker, add water and pressure cook for 10-12 mins or till the jackfruit is tender.
2. Drain out the water and let the jackfruit cool down.
3. Mash the jackfruit with hands or blend in the mixer to make fine paste. Season with red chilli powder, turmeric and salt.
4. Heat oil in a wok, make small balls of jackfruit paste and deep fry them till crisp.
5. For curry remove all the oil from the wok and leave 2 tbsp
6. Fry onion paste in this oil till it turns brown and starts leaving oil on the sides.
7. Throw in ginger-garlic paste and tomato puree and fry for another 15 minutes.
8. Add garam masala, turmeric, red chilli powder and fry for another 5 minutes.
9. Add water (about 2 1/2 cups) to get the curry like consistensy.
10. Add salt, cover the wok and let it cook for 10 minutes.
11. Place the koftas in a bowl and pour the gravy over them right before serving.
12. Garnish with green coriander and serve with plain rice.

Jackfruit Stir-Fried with Besan

Ingredients
Tender jackfruit – 500 gms (peeled and cut)
Besan (Bengalgram flour) – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Amchoor (dry mango) powder – 1 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) – a pinch
Mustard oil – t tbsp
Salt to taste

Method
1. Pressure cook jackfruit for 10-12 minutes
2. Heat oil in a pan and add hing to it.
3. Throw in boiled jackfruit and fry till it turns crisp.
4. Mix besan, red chilli powder, amchoor, turmeric powder and salt. Sprinkle this mix over besan and fry further till the besan is completely roasted.
5. Serve with parathas or dal-chawal.

Food styling and photography – Amrita Kaur

Green Garlic – The Winter Wonder

I miss winters and being in Mumbai the only way I feel close to my favourite season is by visiting the vegetable market. All the greens call out to me from the carts and baskets and I feel like – I say this quite often – a cow or a goat. For a household of two people, I end up buying vegetables for an entire village. This season, apart from the regular sarson, bathua and spinach, I ODed on green or spring garlic also known as leela lasan.

Green Garlic/Spring Garlic/Leela Lasan

Green Garlic/Spring Garlic/Leela Lasan

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Farm-to-Table at Madhuban Agritainment, Roha

When was the last time you slept under the stars, ate a meal made with freshly plucked vegetables from the farm or spent an entire day sitting in the midst of trees with no mobile network to disturb you? Around 125 kms away from Mumbai, in a small town called Roha, a farm offers all this and more. Madhuban Agritainment is located about 5 km drive away from the main Roha city and is a beautiful location to spend a quiet weekend and detox (physical, mental and digital).

The 50 acre farm owned by Dhananjay Joshi, the third generation farmer, is completely organic. Joshi took a conscious decision to convert his farm in 2006 when his father died of Aesophagus cancer and realised that pesticides used in farming are the major culprit. Joshi grows all kinds of seasonal vegetables, fruits, millets along with mango, rice, cashew and kokum – the major crops of the Konkan region. The farm houses a cowshed which takes care of the compost and also provides organic milk. A man-made pond in the farm harvests rainwater and is also used for prawns and fish farming, none of which is on the menu (the food here is completely vegetarian).

Madhuban Agritainment, Roha

Madhuban Agritainment, Roha

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Jimikand (sooran) subzi and a Diwali tradition

Indian festivals have a close relationship with food. There’s always a vegetable, grain, meat dish that’s traditionally eaten on a specific festival whether it’s til gud or khichdi on Makar Sankranti, rewdi-moongfali on Lohri or sewai on Eid.

In our house, there hasn’t been a Diwali when my mother has not cooked jimikand, also known as sooran or elephant foot yam. In eastern UP it’s a tradition to eat jimikand around Diwali. There’s an interesting reason behind it and Sangeeta Khanna has nicely described it on her blog banaraskakhanha.com. Yam grows from corms (bulbo-tubor) and after harvesting it grows again from the leftover corms in the ground. This property of the vegetable falls in line with the ideology of storing and increasing wealth during Diwali and hence considered auspicious.
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Dashain Pop-up and Nepali Food at Gitika’s Pakghor

I grew up in a city – Gorakhpur – that practically shares its border with Nepal. I have visited Nepal a couple of times as a kid and recently with family, but it was in Mumbai at an Assamese house that I had my first taste of real Nepalese food.

Gitika Saikia’s latest pop-up brings to the fore the food eaten by Nepalese during 15 day long festival of Dashain or Durga Puja. Divided into 5 courses, the meal include traditional festive food along with staple Nepali food. I attended the first pop-up yesterday and here’s what you can expect in the next pop-up which Gitika will host on the 15th of October. Tickets are available on www.insider.in

Dashain Meal at Gitika's Pakghor

Dashain Meal at Gitika’s Pakghor

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