I am sure everyone who has ever had a sibling has accused their parent of playing favorites with the other child.In my case I have always felt and told my mother that she loves my brother more than she loves me, a claim she vehemently denies. I was a terribly naughty and curious child always getting into trouble. But my brother was a very obedient and sweet to the point where nobody could fault him, so ofcourse he had to be the Apple of my mother’s eye.
I always complained that she loves him more and doesn’t love me at all. And she would always tell me that it was not true, which I never believed. My mother would occasionally make our favorite dishes and one of them was “Jack fruit sabzi” or “Kathal” as we commonly call it. I could never get enough of it and I would always emotionally blackmail my mother to make it for me when the fruit was in season.
As we grew older and both my brother and I moved away from home our relationships with our parents changed drastically. But one thing that never changed was the way she made this Sabzi and how it would magically appear in front of me every time I came home. And as I became more mature and forgiving I could see the love that she has always had for both of us, which I in all my silliness never noticed and the fact that I am also her favorite Child.
So this year when I visited India and she made it for me again, I knew I had to blog about it and share this lovely recipe. What I love about this vegetable is its flesh and the seeds. The flesh of the Jack fruit is starchy and fibrous and is a source of dietary fiber but it is a difficult fruit to handle and chop (worst than a Pumpkin). My mother also fries the fruit before she cooks it so it cooks faster and tastes even more delicious. But don’t let the difficultly in chopping it stop you from cooking it. It is by far my most favorite vegetable dish, something I can eat everyday if I can.
Recipe (Cooking time 45 minutes, serves 4 – 5)
1/2 kg Jack fruit without the Green skin
2 medium sized Onions roughly chopped
2 large Tomatoes Pureed of chopped really fine
1/2 inch Ginger
5 cloves of Garlic
1 medium sized Cinnamon stick
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 cup Vegetable Oil.
Handful of fresh Green Coriander for garnishing
1) Cut the Jack fruit into medium sized pieces. If they are difficult to handle put some oil on your hands to chop them. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the Jack fruit pieces few at a time till they turn Golden on all sides. Remove from the hot oil drain on a paper towel and keep aside.
2) In the same pan (if there is excess oil you can remove it, she usually uses 2 tsp of Oil) add the Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger, Garlic,Cumin seeds and Coriander seeds. Fry for a minute or 2 and then add the Onions and Green chillies. Fry the Onions till they turn brown. Remove from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before blitzing it in a grinder to a smooth paste.
3) In the same pan add the Onion paste and cook for a few minutes till the oil starts to separate. Now add the Tomato puree and cook for 5 – 7 minutes before adding the fried Jack fruit pieces.
4) Take 1 cup of water and add the Salt, Red Chilli, Turmeric and Coriander powders, mixing everything well. Add this paste to the pan on top of the Jack fruit. Cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes till the fruit turns a little mushy.
Serve it hot garnished with freshly chopped green coriander along with fresh chapatis sprinkled with a little Ghee and you will thank me for it