Idichakka Thoran (Tender JackFruit stir fried with Coconut & Spices)
I had been waiting for years (patiently) to prepare this Idichakka Thoran, because the tender jackfruit available in shops is usually over-aged and the thoran would not have the right consistency. So where are the jackfruit trees gone???? We do not have one either in my house or my hubby's house. We live in an apartment and so there is no question of having a Jack tree though i would say we are lucky to have a Curry leaf tree, lots of Jasmine, a Moringa Tree (the tree which yields Drumsticks), a Jampaka (dont know the English name), a custard apple tree and a tree which yields a leaf which was used to pack meat (Irachi pothiyunaa ela)...i dont know the actual Malayalam word for it...and no patience to search for it anyway...
So the story of sourcing this tender jackfruit is like this: My friend went to meet her Mother-in-Law which is in a rustic setting and the way to the place is through Kuttanad. She asked me whether i need a Kuttanad Duck or a Kuttanad Karimeen or anything which is not available in Kochi. The first thing that came to me was a Tender Jackfruit. The reason why this came to my mind is: there are two jackfruit trees in our neighbourhood and i have been eyeing on the tender ones for sometime this season and asked my husband whether i can ask for a tender jackfruit from them. My husband says NO whenever i nag about this - just this season okay. Even in Kerala now the culture has turned out that you dont socialize with your neighbors, ....... hmmm.
The recipe is from my mother. We used to have this Tender Jackfruit Thoran every summer season when we were in Valparai. There is a lot to be written about this ..... I'll better write the recipe now.
Tender Jackfruit - 1
Oil to grease your hand and knife
Adequate paper to save your kitchen counter top from the Jack glue
method to clean the Jackfruit
Spread a newspaper or parchment paper in your counter top and place the Jackfruit. Grease your hands and knife with oil. Cut the Jackfruit into rounds with the greased knife (wipe away the glue).Quarter the rounds and cut off the middle part. Now the glue will start oozing out of the fruit. Use coconut fibre or tissue paper to clean it off. Cut/peel the thorny skin (only the green coloured part) of the jackfruit using a sharp knife. Once peeled cut it again into the size of medium sized potato cubes. Place this in water mixed with a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric. This is to get rid of any glue like stuff in the pieces.
ingredients to boil the tender jackfruit
salt to taste
green chillies - 2 or 3
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Place the cleaned jackfruit in a pressure cooker with 3/4 level water (of the fruit). Add salt, turmeric and green chillies and pressure cook for 2 whistle. When the steam goes off drain the water. Take each piece and lightly smash it with the back of a spoon.
ingredients for seasoning
oil - 3 - 4 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
urad dal - 1/2 tsp
l large onion - chopped
gently crush 1 cardamom, 2 cloves and 1/2 inch cinnamon
grated coconut - 5 tbsp or 1/3 of a coconut
salt to taste
turmeric - if need be
chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Heat a wide pan / uruli chatti and add oil. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal and saute for few seconds. Add the onion and curry leaves. When translucent, add turmeric, chilly powder, pepper powder, spices and salt. Add the grated coconut, stir for few second and add the smashed tender jackfruit. Stir well. Check taste and serve with rice and curry
Note: The stage of the Tender Jackfruit is important for this recipe otherwise it will turn out to be fibrous in texture.