This recipe was taught to home cook Karunika Pemarathne by her mother and grandmother in Sri Lanka.
Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit in the world. Depending on maturity of the fruit, it can be cooked in different ways, including this fragrant curry.
- 1 kg fresh young jackfruit (see note)
- 6 cups (1.5 litres) coconut milk
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 2 tsp Sri Lankan raw curry powder (see note)
- 4 tsp sweet paprika powder (or red chilli powder)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2-3 cloves
- 1.5cm (½ in) piece Sri Lankan cinnamon
- 2 pieces dried goraka or ½ tsp of goraka paste (see note)
- ½ medium-size pandan leaf
- 2 green chillies
- 3 sprigs curry leaves
- 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 50 g shallots or 1 red onion, finely sliced
- Steamed rice or roti, to serve
- Sambol or other condiments, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need kitchen gloves and paper towel for preparing the jackfruit.
1. First, apply a little oil on the blade of the knife and cover the cutting board with paper to capture the sticky sap. Wearing rubber gloves, cut jackfruit into thick round slices, about 6cm wide. Wipe out the oozing white sap with wet or oiled paper. Slice away the skin and cut out the core and discard. Dice the rest into about 5cm pieces and place into a bowl with half of the coconut milk to prevent the fruit from discolouring.
2. Heat a large clay pot (or heavy based saucepan) on medium heat. Add fenugreek seeds, mixing for one minute to allow them to lightly toast. Add curry powder and paprika. Keep mixing, and toast for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Take care that the spices do not burn.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the cooking pot and mix well. Cover. Simmer on low for around two hours while shaking the pot occasionally until the jackfruit becomes fragrant and tender.
4. Remove goraka pieces, cinnamon, cloves and pandan before serving with steamed rice or roti and sambol or other condiments.
•If young jackfruit isn’t available, you can use 1 kg of drained canned young jackfruit in brine instead, which will reduce cooking time.
•Sri Lankan raw curry powder is available at specialist grocers. Alternatively, spice mix recipes can be found online.
• Goraka is a sour tripical fruit sometimes called brindleberry or Malabar tamarind. It can be found at most Indian abnd Sri Lankan grocery stores. Substutute tamarind paste.
Explore a Taste of the Territory with Jimmy Shu on SBS Food and On Demand.