Monday, April 9, 2012


Idichakka (small raw jack fruit) thoran tastes awesome with ‘maanga koottaan’. And as you all know, the 'chakka'/ 'maanga' appear almost at the same time of the year!
Selecting the right sized fresh 'idichakka' is a test in itself! Cutting it is yet another hurdle which will send the lesser fans of this vegetable fleeing. But not me - I am so much in love with 'idichakka' that I really don't mind the trouble of cutting the sticky, messy tender jack fruit and again getting them into 'strands' after boiling and of course cleaning up the sticky hands and knife with oil and soap.

TIP - Discovery of the year -
This year I could not take my eyes off the nice green small raw jack fruit at my veggie vendor's. But I didn't want to strain my 'aging and non-cooperative' hands and fingers. So I requested him to peel it and cut it for me - some vendors do oblige with this favor or charge a fee - which was fine with me! But my Man Friday could not help me out as it was peak hour. He requested me to come at night before he closed shop - I couldn't do that. I debated about it and finally went home with the whole 'idichakka'. I had a couple of options under my sleeve - I asked my Woman Friday - my maid of course! But she had never dealt with it, so she declined. My friend Vasanti had casually told me that we can pressure-cook it and then peeling would be easy. So I called her up for accurate instructions. YES! I decided to try it out - my maid cut the jack fruit vertically into two pieces. I placed them in a vessel, added enough water to cover them and added turmeric powder. I placed the vessel in a pressure cooker and cooked it for 2 minutes after the first whistle. After allowing it to cool, I used my knife to gently peel off the softened skin - it was like using the knife on a banana! Hey presto! Wasn't that cool! Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Then I cut it into pieces. I felt it was a bit under-cooked. So I cooked the pieces in water for some more time, adding turmeric powder and salt. Then cooled it and whisked in the food processor. So guys, try this easier method next time! 

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients –
Small raw jackfruit – 1 (800 gms)
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Grated coconut – 4 - 5 tbsp
Green chilli – 2 (crushed)
Coconut oil – 3 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Whole red chilli – 2 pieces
Curry leaves - 10

Method –
Oil the knife and your hands before handling the jackfruit.
Peel the jackfruit, remove the hard central part and cut it into 1” cubes.
Heat 2 -3 cups of water and add the washed jackfruits pieces. Add turmeric powder and salt. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20-25 minutes stirring in between and adding water if necessary till it gets cooked.
Drain off the water and cool in a colander.
Churn in the food processor (use whipper button) so that they turn into strands. Alternately you can mash every piece with your hand but it is time-consuming.
Heat 3 tsps coconut oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and red chilli pieces. When they splutter, add curry leaves and then add the jackfruit and stir well.
Add coconut and stir well.
After 10 minutes, add crushed green chilli.

© Copyright 2011. Brinda Balasubramonian.

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