Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chakka/ Jackfruit Thoran

have always refrained from making jackfruit-based dishes due to the fear of getting my hands (knife, cutting board, etc. also) sticky with the white gum. Jackfruit too has played an important role in making my childhood memories special, second only to the king of fruits in India, mango. I remember grandmother choosing the ripe/unripe jackfruit that needed to plucked from the tree depending on whether it was going to eaten or cooked, ensuring everything it touched was covered in coconut oil first and then cleaning it thoroughly, peeling and removing the flesh and seeds separately. The smell of a ripe jackfruit and biting into the soft, sweet yellow fruit itself was refreshing during the summer!

Amma makes so many mouth-watering jackfruit delicacies like chakka chips, chakka thoran, chakka sambar, chakka payasam, chakka varatti (jackfruit jam), chakkakuru-muringa curry (jackfruit seeds-drumstick curry), etc. during the season when jackfruits are available in plenty.

After the Vishu feast (I did prepare a feast, but had no time to take pics of the Sadya on the plantain leaf:-(), I had the jackfruit from the Vishu Kani waiting to be cooked, and I chose to make the thoran. Of course, I was scared I would make a mess of it, especially cutting and cleaning. With lots of oil applied on the knife, cutting board, my hands and plates, I set about the task of peeling and chopping the unripe inside of the fruit into big chunks. After following Amma's recipe, the result was the thoran in the picture below (unfortunately, I did not even plate them and take some good pics:-(), and R and I loved eating it by itself, and also with rice for lunch and with phulkas for dinner! A called it 'chakka noodles' and had it with her 'mammam' and yellow sambar.

To make the Chakka/ Jackfruit Thoran, you will need:

Jackfruit - unripe medium sized fruit/ 1/2 kg of the peeled fruit
Onions - 2 - finely chopped
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded 4-5 cloves
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Chana dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 3-4
Curry leaves - 2 strands
Asafeotida/ Hing - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste


  • Apply lots of oil the knife, cutting board, hands and plates, and peel the jackfruit
  • Chop the inside fruit into chunky cubes (seeds and flesh and all) and wash in lukewarm salt water
  • Boil the pieces in enough water with salt and turmeric powder until cooked
  • Pound the pieces. I transfered the boiled pieces back on the cutting board and used my rolling pin to kind of mash them
  • Heat oil in a large pan and add the chana dal, urad dal, red chillies and roast, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and asafeotida
  • Add onions, ginger, garlic and stir fry for a few minutes
  • Mix the jackfruit into this with salt, red chilly powder and grated coconut
  • Keep stirring and mixing well on low flame until all the ingredients are blended well and a lovely smell wafts into the air from the dish

Serve with rice/ chapathi (or eat it as it is!)

Dear Priti of Indian Khana is hosting Festive Food: Summer Treat event and I am sending the Jackfruit Thoran as my entry.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Raw Mango-Moong Dal Curry

As a child, I always looked forward to the summer season; mainly the summer vacation which brought with it all the flavours of the season, especially mangoes! My mouth waters at the thought of the raw mangoes we instant-pickled and ate, or the ripe ones we tore apart with our teeth and licked the juice running down our fingers-all freshly plucked out of the numerous mango trees scattered in my grandmother's enormous backyard. Those memories will always be cherished.

At home, Amma always uses raw mangoes in a lot of dishes, raw mango and coconut chutney, fish curries with mango and coconut gravy etc. After Vishu, I wanted to use the raw mangoes I had picked out for the Kani and was wondering what to do with them, since A does not like coconut chutney much (sad, but true!). So I decided to make Mango Dal with Moong Dal with it and adding the bottlegourd vegetable too.

To make the Raw Mango-Moon Dal Curry seen in the picture, you will need:

Moong Dal - 2 cups
Raw Mango - peeled, chopped large
Bottlegourd/ Dhoodhi - peeled, deseeded, cubed - 1 cup
Onion - chopped - 1 (optional)

Coconut - grated - 1/2 cup
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tsp
Green chilly - sliced - 1 small
Coriander seeds powder - roasted - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds powder - roasted - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 strand
Asafeotida/ Hing - 1/4 tsp/ a pinch
Oil - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste


  • Wash the moong dal well and soak for about 15 minutes
  • In a pressure cooker, add dal, bottlegourd pieces and chopped onion with enough water and boil for 2-3 whistles
  • While it cools, grind raw mango pieces, grated coconut, green chilly and ginger along with the powders and salt into a smooth paste
  • Mix the paste into the cooked moong dal and bottlegourd vegetable and adjust consistency with water and bring to boil on low flame
  • Temper mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil with hing and season the curry

Serve with rice. It also goes well with chapathi if made thick.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Vishu

Wishing everyone a very Happy Vishu!