Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chakka Erissery and Thoran (Jackfruit curry and stirfry)

Jackfruit according to me is the king of all fruits in Kerala. It cannot be beaten by any other fruit in its size, taste or aroma. A lot of memories are associated with this wonderful fruit. It was my dad's favorite. Due to my dad’s transferrable job, we had to live in different parts of Karnataka where it was very difficult to get this fruit. We had to stand in queue to buy a few pieces from the roadside vendors. It was not only expensive but it could never satiate us. My paternal grandma who lived in Kerala had her own way of satisfying my dad’s cravings for this delicious fruit. She used to send it in a goods wagon/train. I remember going to the railway station with my dad to pick it up. In the evenings of such days, we would assemble around the fruit, in the kitchen. Mom would oil her hands and knife, cut it open and start extracting the sweet flesh which she would hand it around. We would gobble it up taking care not to swallow the seed within. The seeds went into a separate vessel for later use. 

The sweet and fruity aroma of jackfruit is very intoxicating and sticks to you. As a child I was never successful at stealing it. There are different varieties of jackfruit. Jackfruit is also known for its innumerable health benefits. It is rich in fibers. It can boost immune system, lower the blood pressure, strengthen the bones, prevent anemia. Moreover except for its prickly skin every part of this fruit can be used in one or the other way. In fact this fruit can also be used raw or semi-ripe stage. Even its seeds can be used to make curries and stirfries.There are several dishes that can be dished out of it. It can be a curry, stir-fry, payasam (sweet porridge) or fritter. Today I am going to post two very common dishes made of jackfruit. Hope they are interesting enough for you to have a go at it.

Jackfruit curry (Chakka Erissery)

This is the way my mom-in-law makes it. I never had jackfruit erissery before marriage.

Deeseeded Jackfruit flesh (Chakka chula)

Semi-ripe Jackfruit flesh- 2 cups (Chopped)
Chilly powder- 1 tsp 
Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
Salt

Coconut- ¾ cup
Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
Garlic pods- 4-5
Cumin seeds- ½ tsp

Mustard- 1 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Red chillies (dry)- 2 (broken into pieces)
Coconut- 3 tbsp


Cook the jackfruit pieces with turmeric, chilli powder and salt until soft. Add coconut, turmeric, garlic and cumin seeds that are coarsely ground to it and mash well. Continue heating for 5 more minutes. Season with mustard, curry leaves, red chillies and finely roasted coconut. Serve hot with rice. Enjoy! 

Tender jackfruit stir-fry (Idichakka thoran)


Tender jackfruit, small – 1 (skinned and cut   into chunks)
Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp

Shredded coconut – ¼ cup
Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
Garlic pods- 3
Green Chilies – 1
Dry chilies- 1

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Split black gram (udad)– 1 tsp
Curry leaves – I sprig
Dry red chilies – 2 broken
Coconut pieces- a handful
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Cook jackfruit with turmeric, salt and just enough water. Once it is cooked well, remove onto a plate and shred it using th back of a spoon. Grind coconut, chilies, turmeric and garlic coarsely. Now heat a pan with coconut oil. Add mustard seeds. When it pops, stir in black gram, curry leaves, dry chilies and lastly coconut pieces. Saute until black gram and coconut pieces are browned. Now add in the ground paste, cooked jackfruit and combine well.

Tips:

1. Istead of garlic you can use green chilly and shallots for
    grinding in the erissery.
2. It could be either black gram (udad) or coconut in the 
    stirfry.

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