Where to buy jackfruit – ripe, young – and its particular seed, will be celebrated in menus by chefs and home cooks
From Kerala to Meghalaya, if there’s one fruit that’s a having it’s moment, it does not take jackfruit. An off-season jackfruit mela was held in Bantwal, Dakshina Kannada yesterday. Restaurants are putting young green jackfruit (kathal) on their menus, not just in India but around the globe. Who would have thought that young jackfruit, which no-one but your grandmother got excited over and converted into pickles, chips and curries, was being checked out now as ‘mock meat’ for it’s stringy texture that imitates meat? That the smelly, mammoth and unwieldy ripe fruit and it’s unripe version finds favour with epicures and research scientists, given it grows with minimum effort?
So far, ripe jackfruit as well as the young green jackfruit were consumed and found in cooking but now the jackfruit is going farther afield, from the kitchens into factories and processing units.
With yields of staple crops falling, food scientists are considering the jackfruit alternatively to staple grains like wheat and corn, says Prof Dr Shymala S, Deparment of Biotechnology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVR, Bengaluru.Tender jackfruit (upto 6 weeks) is utilized in curries, dehydrated and used in off season, frozen and also combined with pulps and jams.” The tender jackfruit is full of iron, phosphorus and potassium, Vitamin C and Calcium. “Since it’s abundant with fibre, young jackfruit is considered beneficial to people who have diabetes,” adds Shymala.
Where to buy jackfruit? When Manu Chandra, chef-partner, Toast and Tonic and Monkey Bar, place the kathal biryani on his menu, it had been received with surprise, both from those that were accustomed to it and those who had just discovered it. For the few who knew than it, it absolutely was their first experience of eating the vegetable with a restaurant. For those who weren’t accustomed to young jackfruit, it’s stringy, soft texture and almost neutral flavour managed to get accessible. Chandra says the biryani quickly became one of the most ordered dishes at Monkey Bar, and also at outdoor events too, even when the menu was largely non-vegetarian.
Today young jackfruit is finding itself on restaurant menus not just like a novelty nevertheless for its many intrinsic benefits.
Since its entry onto menus some years ago, young jackfruit lately, has processed into flour and pulp, dehydrated and frozen.
When Fab India launched its Fab Café in Bengaluru recently, a speciality on their own menu was the young jackfruit flour paratha. Says Rebekah Blank, business development manager at Fab Café, “We work with a large amount of alternate flours like young jackfruit, quinoa, bajra. We begin using these flours to mix with regular flour when we make cakes, momos and chapatis. The kathal paratha doesn’t have other flours mixed involved with it. Young jackfruit flour is high in fibre and has a low glycemic index (carbohydrates with low GI result in a slow surge in blood glucose levels). It’s great for people who have diabetes, and then for those avoiding refined flour and they are grain-free.”
Caroline Radhakrishnan, digital influencer and recipe developer has attempted jackfruit black products wine laced with pepper which she says would be a sell-out among her friends. Caroline makes jackfruit seed flour in your own home which she uses to create bread, rotis and alternatively for regular flour. “I usually create recipes on the spur of the moment. We accustomed to see an excess of jackfruit within my grandfather’s estate along with the fruit would certainly fall to the ground. Most of it would go waste. I usually create recipes from ripe jackfruit which can be traditional Mangalorean recipes like patholi or payasam. I’ve used ripe jackfruit in cakes and baked bread using the jackfruit seed flour. I’ve pickled young jackfruit in mustard oil and pureed ripe jack to get frozen for later.”
Where to buy jackfruit? Mariam Begg, health coach and clean eater, posted a photo of your ripe jackfruit and buckwheat flour cake recently on Instagram. “Though it was meant to get a cake, it arrived like bread pudding. Despite the form, I loved the tastes and the texture. It’s a very different flavour even though I couldn’t bring myself to eat ripe jack for a long period, it was great,” says Begg. She says she was surprised to find out young jackfruit replacing meat in burgers and sandwiches in London several years ago. Begg has experimented with a young jackfruit and quinoa pulao, stirfried young jack, baked jack seeds, and loves jackfruit roger frozen treats and payasam.
However, young jackfruit has been around commonplace in traditional Indian kitchens. Monika Manchanda, digital influencer and food consultant, says young jack is utilized in curries, the most typical being young jack and mutton, in Punjab. In Bengal, it’s called ’tree goat’ or a substitute for mutton. In Kerala and Dakshina Kannada, young jackfruit is employed in curries and as fritters and chips. In Kerala, steamed young jackfruit daniels is an alternative to rice and eaten with curries. The leaves of jackfruit trees are woven into baskets and used to steam idli batter to generate khottos in South Karnataka.
But as soon as the renaissance of ripe and young jackfruit, the seeds of this fruit are increasingly being researched in a big way. Beverages constructed with jack seeds (believed to become very close in aroma to coffee and chocolate) and masalas manufactured from jackfruit seeds are actually available. What’s next?