When I look at jackfruits in the market, I dive into my past and reach straight to my childhood. I was born and brought up at my maternal grandparent's house till age six. Even later the bond got stronger. Every summer and winter vacations I had to be there... to get cosy on my didu's [grand mom] lap, ride behind uncles' scooter... I was spoilt by their indulgence.... My grandfather loved gardening....the house had a very big garden surrounded by coconut trees. Besides, there were mango, jackfruit, lemon, drumsticks and so many types of flowers grew. He used to grow seasonal vegetables too. Most of the time I used to be in the garden, playing alone. My cousins are much younger than me.
His jackfruit trees bore fruits in abundance and they were so big. The Bengalis eat the green ones made into curries and also the ripened juicy ones.... aah...the taste was divine...just cut from the tree and eaten fresh. I remember the ordeal of didu on the day she decided to cook green jackfruit curry. Uncles used to cut one, rest she took up from cutting it, grinding the spices to cooking. The end product was heavenly, flavourful with a garnish of ghee and Bengali garam masala.
Now a days the process is so easy.... the complex process of removal of its hard skin is no more, its already done and then sold. So there is no reason why we should not cook it. I would take forth the legacy with due respect to all yesteryear women for whom things were not as easy as it is now. Only the cutting part is a bit time consuming but when u eat the curry u forget all the pain. We call it " Gach Patha" meaning tree mutton. In our family its a no onion, no garlic dish. We also use small prawns in this curry but today I kept it pure vegetarian.
Raw Jackfruit : 500 gm
Potato : 2 medium
Tomato : 1 big
Ginger Paste : 2 tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
Cumin Seed : 2 pinches
Bayleaf : 1
Bengali Garam Masala : 1/4 tsp[ an equal amount of green cardamom , cinnamon and cloves ground]
Sugar : 1/2 tsp
Salt : As required
Turmeric Powder : 1 tbsp
Ghee : 1 tsp
Oil : 5 tbsp
Apply little oil in your palms before cutting the jackfruit because the secretion from the raw fruit will make your palm sticky. The skin is already cut. So cut the hard mid region of the fruit, discard it. If your jackfruit has seeds take out and discard the yellowish skin that covers the seed. Now cut into small cubes. Wash and apply salt and turmeric as required.
Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into cubes. Apply salt and turmeric. Wash and cut the tomatoes too.
Heat oil in a wok. Fry the jackfruit pieces in batches till brown and keep aside. Fry the potatoes too.
Add little more oil if required. Once hot, temper with bay leaf and cumin seeds. As they splutter, add the ginger paste.
When the raw smell goes, add the tomato pieces and fry till the spices separate from the oil. Add the cumin powder, remaining salt n turmeric powder and the chilli powder. Stir for 1 minute.
Add the fried potatoes and jackfruits. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes at medium to low heat. Add one medium cup water. Cover.
After 6-7 minutes, open cover and check whether they are soft. If so add the Bengali garam masala powder, sugar and ghee.
Cook for another 1 minute. Its done.
Serve hot with rice or even rotis go very well with it.
Please note I have kept it a bit dry as preferred in my family. You can have little more gravy but do not add too much water, it becomes tasteless.