Jackfruit... when raw we call it 'Echor' and when ripe it is called 'kathal'. In my parental home it is loved too much bothways. During the months of may-july, it is found in abundance at our place. At our home, we started having it as the raw ones started flooding the market. Among us its curry is cooked just as a meat curry with lots of garam masala and a dollop of ghee, lovingly calling it 'niramish pathar jhol', meaning 'vegetarian mutton curry'.
Coming to the ripe ones, it has a very strong smell. Many homes do not like it for that reason, but at our home it was/is much loved. My daddy loves it in all form. Maa used to extract the juice and prepare a kheer from it which daddy loved with puffed rice and Indian breads. I remember there were two jackfruit trees in my maternal grandparent's house. They were full of the fruits by may-june. Once they just started ripening, the biggest one would travel all the way 100 km to our home at Kolkata. We couldn't finish it before a week. Dadu[maternal grandfather] and my uncles took special care of each tree of the garden themselves. Life was so relaxed then, very different from what it is today.
Introduction of Echorer Kofta at our home was perhaps by my mother. She even used the dried seeds of ripe jackfruit in different other veggies. Here too we get jackfruit a lot, both raw and ripe. Nonetheless to say cooking it has become effortless with it been sold with the hard skin scrapped. We only have to discard the outer cover of the seeds, cut it in shapes and cook. Day before yesterday I prepared kofta curry with raw jackfruit. Let us do it.
INGREDIENTS :[for the kofta]
Raw Jackfruit : 250gm
Potato : 1medium
Green Chilli : 2
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Gram Flour : 1-2tbsp
Sugar : 1/2tsp
Salt : As required
Cumin Seed[dry roasted] : 1/4tsp
Oil : 1/2cup[to fry the koftas]
INGREDIENTS :[for the curry]
Plain Yogurt : 1medium cup
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Cinnamon Powder : 3pinches
Cardamom Powder : 2pinches
Cumin Seeds : 2pinches
Bayleaf : 1
Salt : As Required
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1tsp
Oil : 2tbsp
Rub your hands with little oil to start with. We will get skinless and cubed raw jackfruit from the market. Retain the fleshy portion and cut off the rest. Take out seeds, they are to be used. Discard the yellowish cover of the seeds. Wash nicely.
Peel, wash and half the potato. Place both potato and jackfruit pieces in the pressure cooker. Add little salt and a pinch of turmeric powder. Add 1 cup water. Pressure cook up to 1 whistle. Let cool.
Discard the water, transfer the boiled vegetables to a bowl. Chop the green chillies and add to it. Add roasted cumin seed, salt, turmeric, sugar, gram flour. Mash together well with your palms. Shape as you desire and refrigerate for an hour. I do this to avoid breakage.
Take the koftas out. Heat oil in a wok. Fry both sides of the koftas till they are light brown.
Leave 2 tbsp oil in the wok and take out the rest.
Temper with a bayleaf and cumin seeds.
Add the ginger paste and fry for 2 minutes. Beat the yogurt and add. Stir for 1 minute. Add cumin powder, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Stir for 1/2 a minute.
Add a cup of water and bring to boil. Let boil for 3-4 minutes. Add the cinnamon and cardamom powder, ghee. Let cook for a minute.
Arrange the koftas in a serving bowl. Pour the gravy on them. Let the koftas soak in the gravy for sometime before serving.
Enjoy as you wish with rice or chapati!!