Friday, February 17, 2012

Kathal Pulao | Rice with Tender Jackfruit

Kathal or raw Jackfruit is not available in my part of the world. Even Indian stores do not carry it. The only way to indulge any craving for Jackfruit is to get it canned from Asian stores that import it from Thailand. I remember Kathal largely from my time in Delhi. My Mum would get it from vegetable vendors in the Sarojini Nagar market when it was in season. Kathal is not an easy vegetable to prepare, just the peeling, cutting, separating the seeds and removing them from their tough shells is a cumbersome task. This is usually made even more difficult by the sticky sap that oozes out of the peel when it is cut into!! We were kids in school and for us it seemed more like an adventure - to get to the delicious flesh of this wonderful vegetable!! And so the end result was always more than worth the trouble.

Kathal can be prepared in several delicious ways, deep fried, in curry, dry vegetable form with potatoes and garam masala, fried into chips!! Because I get it in a can here, I never attempt to fry it, I cook it in a wet or dry curry, and sometimes I make a Pulao with it!! Last night I made a yummy Kathal Pulao with tomatoes and garam masala. This is a very simple recipe, and can be made in a pinch. Yet it is so fragrant, flavorful, and festive that you may want to save the recipe for a special occasion.

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee
2 large onions, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 can raw tender Jackfruit, drained
2 potatoes, cubed
1/3 cup tomato puree
2 kali elaichi (black cardamom)
1/2 tsp zeera (cumin)
2 lavang (cloves)
6-8 sabut kali mirch (black peppercorns)
1" piece dalchini (cinnamon)
2 sabut lal mirch (red chili)
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt, to taste
1 tsp green chili, minced
2 cups rice

  1. Wash the rice and boil it in plenty of water and half a teaspoon of salt until it is half done. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil and ghee in a deep saucepan. Add the cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and black peppercorn. Once they begin to pop, add the red chilis, garlic and onions. Fry until transparent. 
  3. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Fry till the juices begin to run, then add the tomato puree. Stir, then add a half cup of water and let the mix cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the green chili, garam masala, turmeric, red chili powder, salt, potatoes, and another half cup of water. Stir, then cook on a medium heat for another 7 minutes. 
  5. Next add the Jackfruit, another half cup of water, then cook for another 5 minutes. By this stage you should have a thickish curry. Turn off the heat.
  6. In a deep pan, layer the rice and vegetable curry twice or three times - rice, curry with vegetables, rice, curry with vegetables, rice.
  7. Cover and cook on a low heat fro 30-40 minutes or until the rice is do and all the curry had been absorbed into the rice. Leave covered for another 10 minutes.
  8. Serve the pulao hot with papad, dahi, salad, and pickles. 
The Pulao comes out so delicious that you really do not need anything to accompany it. In fact, this is also a perfect dish for picnics, or a work lunch!!Just pack, warm, and eat. Yumm!!

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  1. I have not tried rice with this jackfruit. Nice one.

  2. I prepare many kind of curries from tender jack fruit..but never tried with pulav..sounds interesting...will try once...

  3. this is very new type of pulao for me, looks very nice!!


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