My husband works on mass reactions to movies, financial events and in his spare time reads about mass mania about religious events. I wonder whether such reactions can also apply to friends cooking at opposite corners of the world??? A friend in USA had written that she had found frozen packs of unripe jackfruit. Jackfruit is common to many wet, tropical countries. And this is the season in India! So when I saw them in the market the other day I decided to go one better on my friend and start from scratch. Opening up a jackfruit, ripe or unripe requires one to know a couple of tricks. Namely, anointing one’s arms and the hatchet (that’s what works best; ordinary knives look decidedly puny) well with mustard oil. Any oil should do, but in Bengal we use the yellow, sharp mustard oil for most items. Oil all implements with mustard oil. Cut away the thick green peel first. Now the core should be visible. The meaty part surrounding the core is the best. The core is generally considered too tough. Cut the strips into cube and immediately put into water to avoid discoloration.
The dish is simplicity itself. This is a dish which my mother had tasted at a choruibhati or a picnic at a farm. She suggested that that the thakur (or the chef) may have used the following ingredients. This is our recreation of Enchor Korma!
2 cups cubed unripe jackfruit
4 Tablespoon cashew, toasted and ground
2 Tablespoon poppy seeds, ground
1/3 teaspoon of yellow mustard
2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
4 Tablespoon milk
3 green chillies, deseeded
2 tablespoon mustard oil and more for anointing
Boil the cubed unripe jackfruit in plenty of salted water. I used a pressure cooker. 6 minutes at high pressure should do. Drain and cool. In the meantime in a coffee grinder, grind the spices to a powder. The poppy seeds, toasted cashew and yellow mustard should be then transferred to a blender with the green chillies and milk. A white liquid flecked with green. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the spice mix. Keep stirring constantly for a minute. Add the drained, cooked jackfruit. Add the salt to taste and cook in the spice mix for five minutes covered. Cook uncovered if you want the gravy to thicken. Serve hot with rice.