Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Raw Green Jackfruit Side Dish (Kadgi Chakko)

With the ongoing Jackfruit season, I cannot help but lament and sigh at the sight and smell of sweet smelling Jackfruits. The easiest route to satiate flavours would be to gobble the kernels from the canned ones we get here in US. I enjoy most of the summer fruits and vegetables we get in India and feel its a sheer treat for the palate as well as the soul to eat all the seasonal goodies nature bestows us with.

I love Kadgi Chakko, a popular Konkani side dish made with boiled and mashed Raw Green Jackfruit (Tarnee Kadgi in Konkani) along with the usual suspects of Red Chillies, Coconut and Tamarind and few extra ingredients thrown in. The Chakko tastes best with tender meat of Raw Jackfruit, the tender the meat the better the taste.

Cleaning the Kadgi is quite a daunting task in itself. One needs to oil the hands and the chopping knife, peel off the thick poky bumpy bark, chop off the central stem. The Jackfruit has a sticky liquid oozing out (called as Deeku in Konkani). The oil smeared on hands prevents the sticky gum from clinging to hands. The meat which is soft and tender can be cut into desirable sizes and shapes based on one's preference. For Chakko, the top portion of the Jackfruit pieces (as shown in the picture) needs to be chopped off and discarded and only the bottom portion of the kernel which is soft and meaty ought to be retained. You could use the top pieces for any other curry of choice. Since I did not want to waste food, I added both the portions. Mom frequently makes this dish because its loved by all at home. If you are using canned variety, salt is pre-added, so use your discretion. The masala is similar to 'Sukke', a version of dry side dish made with coconut and the popular trio's of Konkani cooking. The dish is incomplete without a liberal garnish of pure coconut oil. The garnish completes, soothes and enhances the flavours of all spices, vegetables and condiments. :)

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


Raw Green Jackfruit (boiled and chopped) - 2 1/2 cups ~ Use fresh or canned variety of 10 oz.
Grated coconut (fresh or frozen) - 1 cup
Red Chillies (Byadgi preferred) - 5-7
Urad Dal - 1 tablespoon
Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoon
Tamarind pulp - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds or Methi - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Ghee/ Oil

For seasoning:
Curry leaves - 4-5
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee/ Oil

For Garnish:
Fresh and pure Coconut Oil - a teaspoon per serving suggested

If using canned Jackfruit, clean and wash the chopped pieces with water, pat dry and boil in water with little salt and Turmeric powder, till its completely cooked and soft. Drain off water, chop them into 1/2 " pieces and keep aside.
In a separate vesssel, heat few teaspoons of ghee/oil, saute red chillies, coriander seeds, methi seeds and urad dal for couple of minutes. Do this with care and a watchful eye as spices could easily burn and the smoky flavour spoils the dish. Turn off flame once done and allow to cool.
Grind to a coarse paste with grated coconut and the sauted ingredients of red chillies, coconut and coriander seeds. Add required quantity of salt and turmeric powder as desired. In a deep dish pan, add the chopped jackfruit and ground coconut paste and cook of low-to-medium flame. Add little water if desired. This dish is of dry nature with no water. Once completely cooked, turn off the flame. In another pan, heat few teaspoons of ghee/oil, add mustard seeds and once they begin to pop add curry leaves. Pour this seasoning on the just cooked Jackfruit and Coconut mixture. Mix well to spread the seasoning evenly. Serve hot with Daali Thoi and Rice.

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