This curry is totally over the top in all the right ways!! Flavours, intensity, creaminess, coconut! India cooking rocks my world, how about you?
Making things like this masala paste at home brings any kitchen to life with incredible colour’s and fragrance. Apparently it’s spring, but looking out the window here in Wales, we’re in serious need of some rainbow food! Some zest and zing, brightness on our plates. This Goan curry is perfect for that!
This type of curry takes me right back to Goa, sitting in my favourite little place, right under many jackfruit trees, and eating homemade curries with fresh mango juices. Not a bad life!! It wasn’t jackfruit season, but they were hanging off the trees like strange bright green, spiky alien space craft. If you’ve seen one, you’ll now what I mean.
This recipe is based on a selection of curries I ate almost every day for lunch. They were always homemade and you can really taste the difference, the ingredients taste real!! The cooks loved to use coriander seeds, giving their slightly citrus flavour to the curry. I’m not sure if this is classically Goan, but it is how the lovely families cooked. The cuisine of Goa is so diverse, see my post here, ‘A Taste of Goan Cuisine’ for more Goan food tales.
Is still a new ingredient for most of us. It doesn’t get much more exotic, it’s a very strange fruit. I love it!
Here we use the unripe jackfruit, which many say is a good meat sub, you can also eat the ripe jackfruit which is more like a yellow flower. Both are available in the UK in tins. The ripe jackfruit is better suited to desserts, makes an incredible ice cream and is delicious eaten raw.
You will find many street vendours around the world, in Thailand, India etc expertly dissecting the giant fruits (the can get massive) and serving the yellow, slightly rubbery flowers on small trays. For a few pennies you can enjoy the totally unique flavour of jackfruits, some say it has a hint of juicy fruit bubblegum in there. I get that.
But we’re all about the unripe version here, the one many people are using to replicate pulled pork. It works a treat and meat eaters are easily fooled by it. They certainly enjoy it!
Some people have said that we should not eat such an exotic ingredient regularly in the UK. I understand that, but we all love bananas and pineapples and jackfruit I think will always be a treat ingredient for me. Something we use seldomly, a very tasty kitchen curve ball.
There is a slight sourness to some Goan curries, it seems to be a legacy of the Portugese, who like adding vinegar to dishes. The sourness here comes in the form of the tamarind, but you can also add a little lemon juice to the curry at the end to give it that extra little twang!
Tamarind can be found in world or Indian food stores in its dried state, with the seeds still present. I like it like that. You can also buy the paste in supermarkets.
Chillies are up to you. Jane is not a huge fan of chilli, so I really tone things down. I would go for the green chillies and around 4 red dried chillies in this curry. Remember, that many dried red chillies are milder. If you use the equivalent in chilli flakes for example, you may have an incendiary curry on your hands.
If you don’t have jackfruit, you can substitute it with any vegetable you like or even a tin of black eyed beans. I really loved the Goan curries made with black eyed beans. Tofu or tempeh would of course be sensational here.
I left the jackfruit pieces whole here, but you can chop off the stem if you like and break the jackfruit up into smaller chunks. Like the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit recipe we did a while ago, see here.
Goan Jackfruit Curry
The Bits – For 4
350g squash – 1/2 medium-sized butternut squash, or carrots/ sweet potatoes
280g jackfruit (1 tin, well drained)
1/2 small onion (finely chopped)
2 tbs curry leaves
2 large pieces of cinnamon bark or 2 inch cinnamon stick
1 tbs coconut oil
2 teas sea salt
70g grated/ dessicated coconut
5 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
1/2 small onion (finely chopped)
3 teas tamarind paste or 1/2 small lemon (juice)
2 heaped tbs fresh ginger (chopped)
2 1/2 teas coriander seeds
1 1/2 teas cumin seeds
2-6 dried red chillies (mild)
1 teas turmeric
1 tin coconut milk
2 green chillies (optional)
1 tbs coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, sweetener of your choice.
Press the jackfruit between kitchen paper to draw out most of the water. This leaves more room for flavours to infuse and get in.
Put all masala ingredients into a blender, I use a small blender (I have one that attaches to a stick blender), I find it easier to do this in a smaller blender.
Blitz up and gradually add roughly 125 ml coconut milk to the masala as you blitz and scrape down the sides of the blender until all is combined. You should have a smooth sauce, the better and more powerful your blender, the smoother the paste. Don’t worry about a few chunks, in Goa, the chunks of coconut are a nice surprise!
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onions, cinnamon, salt and curry leaves, saute for 4 minutes. Then add the squash, jackfruit and masala paste, plus the leftover coconut milk from the tin and 150ml water. The green chillies can go in now if you’re using them.
Stir and bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 40 minutes. Until the squash and jackfruit are nice and tender, adding more hot water to thin out the sauce as needed.
Stir in your sweetener and check that you’re happy with the seasoning.
Serve topped with coriander and toasted coconut, with your favourite Indian rice and salad combo. Here’s some ideas that we’ve cooked in the past:
Cooling Watermelon, Tofu & Mint Salad
Toasted Cashew & Green Pepper Pulao
Jackfruit is high in fibre, helping us to detox which in turn makes us glow! It also contains a good amount of carbohydrates, keeping us fully charged with energy and is loaded up with vitamin C and some potassium. Jackfruit seeds are a good source of protein and vitamin A.