This is a famous Coastal andhra dish and mostly a must on the menu during auspicious occasions. Its made mostly during weddings. Though , I don’t belong to coastal andhra, but this dish is a must in my family and was on my wedding menu for three meals.
The Jackfruit that is used here is young and unripe and there are special knives to scrape the fruit and and the result is “pottu” which looks like shredded cabbage. A young jackfruit is taken , the skin peeled off and then by rubbing your hands and the knife with oil and turmeric and slowly cut and shredded. This is a tedious process but the best curry is produced by following this method.
I was lucky to get the canned green jackfruit available in southeast Asian store here and so , I didnt have to go through the tedious process of shredding it.
I bought a can , drained the water and i minced it in the food processor adding a little oil and a pinch of turmeric, so that my hands don’t get sticky while I’m removing the minced jackfruit and mixing with a little more turmeric.
1 can of young green jackfruit minced in the food processor
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 red chili
1 tablespoon of tamarind extract
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of asafoetida
3 green chillies
For the Popu:
1 tablespoon of chana dal
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of urad dal
2 dry red chilies
A few curry leaves
In a pressure cooker, take the jackfruit and enough water to cover it and cook until just one whistle. (I use a hawkins pressure cooker). Let it cool and drain off the water and also squeeze water from the jackfruit. It should be dry. This curry tastes best when dry. Alternatively, if you don’t like the pungent smell, you can soak it in buttermilk instead of water and pressure cook it. This is will get rid of the smell.
Heat oil in a skillet and do the popu/tadka seasoning by adding the chana dal , urad dal, mustard seeds, red chilies. Once the mustard seeds pop , add the curry leaves and the green chillies and then add then add the tamarind extract. Let it simmer until the raw smell of tamarind wears off. Then add the asafoetida and then add the minced, cooked jackfruit and salt. Saute for a while until the water evaporates . Meanwhile in a mortar , grind the mustard seeds and the dry chili adding a little water making it a thick paste. Do not add too much water and make it a loose paste. Add a 2-3 drops of oil and mix well and leave the paste for 5 minutes.
Once the jackfruit blends well with the tamarind and other spices , remove from heat and let it cool for sometime. Once the curry is warm, add the mustard paste , mix and cover immediately with the lid. They say that the mustard paste if added when the curry is hot doesn’t mix well with the jackfruit . Its best to eat this curry 4-5 hours after you cook it as it gives a wonderful taste!