Ripe jackfruits are a rich yellow. Unripe ones are white, grey and ash.
I have never been fond of ripe jackfruits. The unripe ones turn into meaty masala curries, great for dinners. Wrap chunks of well-cooked jackfruit chunks with rotis and place them in your mouth. Savour the taste in layers of bland roti, masala-clad jackfruit crust and the tender inside.
When I was growing up in a sleepy suburb of Kolkata, jackfruit curries were often part of our summertime dinner. It helped us sail through summer’s unease.
In Kolkata, jackfruit curries are prepared on a garam masala base. Add tender pieces of jackfruit and potatoes after you’ve done the second layer of base – with onions and ginger. Turmeric, salt, red chili powder would add hue and texture. Simmer the entire preparation in water. Don’t drown it! I know cooks who love making a soupy jackfruit curry. But, believe me, it doesn’t work. Soup dilutes the masala around the jackfruit crust, making it bland.
The best jackfruit curry is the one where chunks loudly announce their colour and hue. Provided there is salt added to taste, this is the best alternative to a meat dish.
Two injunctions: Don’t overcook a jackfruit curry. Don’t cook a ripening jackfruit. Overcooking would melt the chunks and ripening jackfruit, when cooked, becomes mushy.
Please follow and like us: