Kathal Aloo Sabzi – Kathal or, Jack Fruit was called vegetarian’s chicken in my village. As kids we would love the combination of kathal curry and rice and that day was a feast for us. After marriage, on my first trip to Kerala, I saw at least 2 Jack fruit trees in every single house. And they would let it remain there until it ripens. It is when it partially ripens that they would pluck them.
I seldom saw anyone making a curry out of Jack Fruit (Chakka as it is called in Kerala). The only thing it will be used for is either Chakka Avial or, for consumption after it ripens. At least that was what it was used for in my husband’s ancestral home and their relatives’. That was an opportunity for me to showcase my talent and make a curry that was similar to Chicken. And off I went into the kitchen and asked for a raw Chakka.
And then I am asked a question which stumped me – “Which one do you want – Kada Chakka, Kuzha Chakka or, Varikka Chakka?”
That’s when I realized that there were multiple varieties to Jack Fruit.
Finally, when I figured out which variety of Chakka I wanted, it was time for me to return. And that’s when I decided that the goal for my next trip to Kerala was to make Kattahal Aloo. To cut the long story short, it took me 3 years before I could make it because either I would end up going to Kerala during an off-season or, by the time I reach, all of the Jack Fruits would have ripened.
Coming back to cooking, recipes and Tastes of India, today I am going to show you Kattahal Aloo ki Sabzi. I absolutely love it and I am sure so will you.
- Raw jackfruit Kathal – 300 grams
- Potato – 1 boiled, peeled and cubed
- Onions – 3 thinly sliced
- Tomatoes – 2 chopped
- Green chili – 2
- Coriander powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red chili powder – to taste
- Chicken masala powder - 1/2 tsp optional
- Salt – to taste
- Bay leaf – 2
- Dry red chili – 2
- Panch phoron/cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Black Cardamom - 1
- Green Cardamom - 1
- Cinamom Stick - 1"
- Mustard oil- 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
- Pure Desi Ghee - 1 tbsp
- Boil rawjackfruit pieces in a pressure cooker till tender.Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan/Kadahi and fry Kathal pieces and keep it aside.
- In the same pan heat 1 tbsp oil and fry potato till golden brown and set aside.
- Again in the same pan heat another 1 tbsp oil.
- Add panch phoran or cumin seeds.
- Once the cumin seeds starts spluttering add green cardamom, black cardamom and cinnamon stick.
- Now add onion, salt and turmeric and fry till golden brown.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
- Now add coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala powder and fry until the raw smell of masala goes off.
- Add tomato and mix well.
- Cover the pan and cook on a low flame stirring in between.
- Cook until the masala mixture becomes mushy.
- Add kathal and aloo, stir well.
- Fry for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add water as per the required consistency and let it boil.
- Add coriander leaves and mix well.
- Turn off the gas.
- Now in a small pan heat ghee.
- Add bay leaf and crushed ginger.
- Fry for few seconds and add this tempering to the curry.
- Serve hot with plain rice, roti, paratha or puri.
It is better to make this sabzi in mustard oil to enhance its flavor.
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