Monday, October 12, 2009

Ganga's Fijian-Indian Young Jackfruit Curry

A few months ago, one sunny morning, my friend Vidya and I got up at the crack of dawn* and made our way to Sydney's weekly flower market. Strolling past vibrant pinks and exuberant reds, the air perfumed with the scent of budding hyacinths and blossoming tulips, I wondered what hidden delights the day will hold...

Walking away, arms full of proteas, oriental lilies and the odd orchid, we decided to stop at the fruit and veggie market next door. We were pleasantly surprised to find young jackfruit on sale - what luck!! We grabbed a couple, some fresh loofah, and she suggested we head over to Ganga's place (her mum) for some Fijian-Indian young jackfruit curry! I felt so blessed to be able to witness the making of this traditional dish, first hand. While Ganga made fresh roti, Vidya and I picked stunning little bishop crown chilli peppers and cumquats from the garden. Then we chopped up the jackfruit, making sure to cover our hands and chopping boards in oil to avoid getting covered with the sticky white latex inside the young fruit (not as bad as it sounds actually, at least in my limited experience with the fruit!) The pieces had to be as small as possible, and once they were cut up, they were sautéed with onion, lots of garlic, and a plethora of Indian herbs and spices.

Soon it was time to eat - loofah curry, young jackfruit curry and warm homemade roti with some pickles on the side - the flavours were intense, fiery, amazing! The texture of the jackfruit curry, in particular, was divine. We stuffed our selves silly, and found it hard to stop eating, each bite being tastier than the last. It was sooooo good!!

When it was time to go, Vidya and her mum packed some curry and roti for my significant other and fids** at home (Oscar looooved the roti), as well as the goodies from the garden - chillies, cumquats, rosemary, curry leaves, tea leaves and some succulent cuttings for my balcony. As I left I felt so grateful to have been so openly welcomed and utterly spoiled by Vidya and her family - for one day, I felt I had been transported to Fiji and felt a part of her family. Is there a greater gift someone can give you?!?!

The delicious jackfruit curry left such an impression on me that I made it the next day, and once again a few days later, and actively have been hunting young jackfruit ever since! With Ganga's blessing, I have recorded the recipe for you here, I hope you find it as wonderful as I did!

* i am a night owl, so wasn't exactly 'crack of dawn' but felt like it ;)-
** fids = feathered kids :)

Serves 1 of me or 3 regular folk, hehe ;)

800g young unripe jackfruit
1 medium-sized onion, finely diced
1 small head of garlic (yes, a whole head, or 4-5 very large cloves), minced
1/2 tsp fenugreek
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric, ground
1/2 Tbsp curry powder (or 1/2Tbsp ground coriander and 1/2 tsp garam masala)
15 curry leaves
3 hot chilli peppers, finely chopped
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp salt (don't be shy with the salt!)
2 Tbsp oil or ghee + extra oil for coating knife and chopping board
Some lime juice (optional)


Coat a sharp knife and chopping board in oil, and cut off the spiky jackfruit peel.
Chop the jackfruit into large chunks, remove the centre core and discard it.

Chop the jackfruit chunks into small pieces. (The smaller the better here, so be patient and you shall be rewarded with superior texture in the final product. Traditionally this was done by hand, so if you have the time, do so! You will notice the jackfruit naturally breaks apart into little bits.)

Heat oil or ghee in a deep large saucepan. When hot add onion and sauté until translucent. Next add the fenugreek, cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric, curry powder (or ground coriander and garam masala), garlic and fry for a few seconds until fragrant. Next add the chopped jackfruit, curry leaves, chilli, salt and 1/2cup of water. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 40 minutes, until tender, making sure to add small amounts of water while it is cooking so the curry does not dry out.

Taste and add more salt if necessary and some lime juice wouldn't hurt, though it wasn't necessary in Ganga's original recipe. Top with fresh coriander and serve!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Guvablossom is back!

After many months of neglect (oops!!) Guavablossom is back!! Luckily, I only neglected posting, not cooking, so have many new recipes to share with you! Recently we have been trying to eat as many raw foods as possible, so will be including some new tropical raw recipes in the near future! Watch this space for a new recipe in the next few days, in the meantime, enjoy some new family photos ;)-

Suco loves a scratch ;)-Suco eats with a spoon!