Popularly known as “vegetarian’s meat’, this fibrous, starchy and fleshy fruit is one of my favorites. From tender ones to the absolutely ripe ones Jackfruit is used in variety of dishes from sweet to savory. Even the juice of ripe jackfruit is dried and used to make dishes like fansache sandane. It is even pickled and the kathal ka achar is one of the best things on earth. I had kathal ki biryani at a friend’s place and it tasted just like the mutton biryani though the hardcore non vegetarian would never call it a biryani for Biryani means rice and Meat. 🙂 Nothing can substitute it. Kathal is one of the many things especially cooked on Holi in UP.
Although in my house only tender baby kathal or slightly more matured one was used for vegetable or kababs I learned to cook the more mature fibrous one from my MIL. It was cooked mostly like meat. The recipe used all the spices used to cook meat. It was cooked on slow fire and given dum. ( the dum pic got deleted accidentally but I will upload it later)
I did variations whenever possible to make the best use of the meaty fruit. Achari kathal being one of them which is cooked exactly like murg achari.
I neither use very tender baby jackfruit nor the very fibrous mature one for this subzi. The jackfruit seeds, that look like chestnuts, should not be very tough to chew. I never liked their plastic like covering.
Note – Get the jackfruit peeled and cut by the vegetable vendor or apply some oil and use a sharp knife to cut. It secretes a sticky resin and things can get very messy if not done properly.
Green unripe kathal/jakfruit – 1/2 kg
Onion – 2 large
Potatoes – 2 medium size ( optional)
Tomatoes – 5-6 medium size
Ginger – 1 inch ( grated)
Garlic – 7-8 cloves ( grated)
Green chilies – 2-3 ( slit)
Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander Powder – 2 tablespoon
Turmeric / Haldi Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Home made Garam Masala – 1/4 teaspoon
Amchur/ mango powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida – 2 pinches
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Mustard Oil for frying
Water – 1 cup
Chopped green coriander leaves – for garnish
Tip – If you do not wish to fry the kathal and potatoes you can make this recipe with steamed or raw pieces also.
This is a slow cook recipe and a labor of love. Follow the steps and you will have a sumptuous vegetable.
My garam masala has nutmeg, cinnamon, bayleaf, javitri, big black cardamom, green cardamom, dry ginger, cumin, coriander etc. so I do not add khada masala or whole spices.
Some people add two three tablespoons of thick curd in the masala instead of amchur/mango powder. I make dahiwala kathal as a separate dish.
Enjoy this delicious meaty vegetable while the fruit is still in season.
Kachche aam ki launji is a relish that is popular all over North India and thee are many ways to make it. It is a perfect summer side dish to have with parathas, poories, cheelas etc. I sometimes just take a small bowl of it and eat it without any accompaniment. The sweet and tangy taste of kachi ambiya and jaggery spiced up by red chili and simple spices makes it a perfect summer special. While we drool over the many varieties of ripe mangoes and relish them all through the summer we also savor the raw and slightly ripe raw mangoes to makes chunda, achar, takku, murabbaand various chutnies.
Have you ever eaten slightly sweet raw mango slices dusted with cayenne pepper ? If not then you are missing out on something utterly delicious. Do try it as soon as you get hold of the mangoes.
Here I am sharing two versions of this launji. One is what my mom makes. I remember eating this every summer since my childhood. We called it Meethi Khatai . We don’t peel the mangoes in this one like the Rajasthani launji. I also leave the guthali or the mango pit to suck the sweet tangy juices from it.
Both the recipes are for small quantity. You can adjust the ingredients for a larger amount. These will serve four people.
Here is a simple recipe to make this version of Meethi Khatai or raw mango launji:
Pickle spice mix
Fennel seeds/ saunf – 2 tablespoon
Nigella seeds / Kalonji – 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds / Methi Dana – 1 teaspoon
Do try both these recipes and enjoy the goodness of the mangoes till it is in the season.
Dissident Voice’s Sunday Poetry section. DV is a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice.
In the stillness of the old house
my fingers leave traces on the
dust-shrouded sepias of broken lives—
their names only half remembered—
parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins—
in the courtyard of our ancestral home,
or surrounded by vast areas of snow
that now weigh heavy on my heart
as I close my eyes and find a dream
in which the mist of old memories
veils the far distant hills and
bare trees that stand transfixed
like bleached skeletons,
their summer songs exorcised
the grey of sorrow clouds the sky
I recall a bright wood fire blazing
fragrant with the scent of my homeland
making figures like themselves
to celebrate the coming of new snow
but that was before innocence was lost
and the snow turned red with blood
as their sculptures gradually died
and vanished from sight forever
in the years since I last saw snow fall
winter has become a grisly metaphor
for the loss of life and hope
and things that will never be again
the sky that final evening
was smeared red with death,
and a tangible odour of fear
hung oppressively in the air,
by the half-shut windows,
blood had petrified in my veins
mother moved about the rooms
unsettling the unnatural quiet,
the few things we still owned
were in neat bundles beside the door,
slowly, on his artistic limbs,
baba mapped the contours of home
he absorbed the fading colours,
let memories settle on his skin
as fragile as a fine layer of dust,
in a corner grandma sat quietly
huddled with her kangri,
her gaze lost in a different world
the children had long forgotten time
and surrendered to exhaustion,
from my place near the window,
I envied their restive slumber
as I watched our topographies of pain,
trapped between somewhere and nowhere
the eerie wail of an ambulance sounded,
gunshots echoed through the air,
choked on dust and soot and pain
we waited, and watched the day reduce
to ash, then we passed into the night,
quietly, towards an unfamiliar sky
First published in Dissident Voice’s Sunday Poetry section. DV is a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice.
Home cultured yogurt is full of probiotics and when the heat of summer is upon us the then yogurt or curd based desserts and other dishes are the best. I have been making FroYo and parfaits as the temperature this May is soaring mercilessly.
Many of those who are unable to digest milk can actually digest yogurt without any difficultly and that makes it even more better.
FroYo is one of my proffered desserts. I love them over ice creams as they are lower in calories and healthier too. I make them without the help of ice cream maker so they are practically no fuss.
Cherries have flooded the market and this FroYo has dark cherries. Stone fruits are my favorites, mangoes, plums, cherries, apricots, you name it. I just love them. They are so versatile and you can use them to make such wonderful desserts, relish, compote etc.
I buy fresh fruit and freeze for making FroYo. Frozen fruit gives a beautiful creamy texture to it.
As a sweetener I use honey. It is a better option than sugar. Honey also prevents icicles to form while freezing the dessert.
Once the cherry frozen yogurt is ready, you can either serve it immediately as a soft serve or freeze it for a fe hours for a more ice cream like texture like I did.
The tart yogurt, the sweet cherries , a hint of lime is all you need to reach a state of Nirvana.
You can also use Greek yogurt and frozen cherries but I prefer fresh ones.
Now for the delicious low calorie Cherry FroYO
Black Sweet Cherries (pitted and frozen)- 1 cup
Hung yogurt/ Greek yogurt – 3/4 Cup
Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon
Honey – 1 tablespoon ( don’t use extra sweetener, let cherries do the job)
Pit the cherries and freeze for two hours
Hang the curd/ yogurt over night or for 3-4 hours till completely drained of liquid.
Freeze the yogurt as well. We will chop it up an hour before using.
Take out the yogurt from the freezer and chop it up. Put it in a glass bowl.
Now take out the cherries, thaw them a little and then remove 1/4 in a bowl place rest of them in the blender and process till smooth.
Take out the cherry puree in a bowl and put the remaining cherries in the blender , give a swirl so it becomes a chunky mix. Remove.
Now, add hung yogurt , lemon juice and honey in the blender and process till smooth. Add the cherry puree to it and mix. Add the chunky cherries to the cherry yogurt and mix well.
Scrape the sides of the blender bowl and bland again to ensure there are no lumps.
Taste for sweetness and adjust accordingly.
In a freezer safe bin pour the cherry yogurt mixture. Tap the bin on the counter 2-3 times to remove air gaps. Cover and put in the freezer.
Take out and whisk the mixture after every 30 min and freeze again. I usually don’t need to do it if using honey or just do it once. Freeze for 4-5 hours or over night to get the ice cream like consistency.
You can also serve it as soft serve after a few hours.
Frozen Yogurt is best consumed on the same day but you can freeze it for a few days.
Serve it with a few fresh cherries on the side and a fresh sprig of mint at the top.
As I munched on the leftover cherries I saw a box with a few digestive biscuits. An itch to try something new was too much to ignore so I decided to try something different. I took 6 of the biscuits added a slice of salted butter and gave it a churn in the mixer to make a base for a cheesecake with FroYo. It was just an experiment. I wasn’t sure if the frozen yogurt cheese cake would set if kept in the freezer.
I sprayed the springform pan with some oil, layered it with the biscuit crumble tightly just like we do for a proper cheesecake and kept in the fridge to chill. After half an hour I poured the FroYo over it, topped it with homemade cherry compote and covered the pan with cling wrap properly.
I kept this in the freezer for 2-3 hours and the result was just wow. I still feel there is a need for improvement but the cheesecake was yum. This is to be eaten immediately or the frozen yogurt will melt away leaving a slush. 😛
Perhaps it would stay better in a jar. Something to do next time. 😀