This one is for Mags who has offered me a bit of a challenge! Jackfruit, Japanese rice vinegar and dill mustard. Hmmmm. Thanks Mags
First, what is Jackfruit? Personally I can’t stand it but David had a great Jackfruit with hoisin in a bao-bun at Latitude a couple of years ago. Jackfruit is a relative of fig and breadfruit. it grows in the tropics and is frequently used by vegans and vegetarians as a meat substitute because it has a very firm texture but will ‘pull’ apart in shreds so you can use it to casserole, for pulled ‘meat’ in a pitta or flatbread.
Here we go then. First make your paratha. These are so easy and so delicious, you won’t need the flatbread! This paratha recipe is unashamedly lifted from Asma’s Indian Kitchen which was my favourite cookery book of 2019. I’ve cooked them hundreds of times since. Now I have to stop myself cooking them because they all get eaten.
Put 300g plain white flour in a bowl with half a teaspoon each of salt, baking powder and sugar. Add 3tbsp melted ghee or oil. Slowly add 175ml water – feel your way here, depending on the flour you might not need all the water. Mix it all together into what should be a fairly firm dough then knead for about 10 minutes on a floured work surface. If you are lazy like me, throw all the ingredients in the Kenwood and use the dough hook instead! Cover and leave to rest in a warm place. My ‘go-to’ place is in the airing cupboard in winter and on the kitchen windowsill in the summer.
After resting period of about an hour, divide the dough into 8 pieces. dust each piece with flour and roll into circles about 17cm across. Melt some butter (go on, you know it makes sense!) then brush each circle with some butter. Now roll it up tightly from top to bottom, and then curl it up in a tight spiral. Do this with each one. When they are all done, flatten each one with a rolling pin again, and roll each one into a flatbread shape. Have a goodly amount of hot oil on the go in a wide pan. When it’s practically smoking, drop in the paratha two or three at a time depending on the size of your pan. They will puff up a bit in bubbles, after just a minute flip over and cook the other side for no more than a minute. Drain on kitchen towel and leave until you are ready to serve the curry. What curry? The one I’m about to tell you about. The one with the jackfruit that’s in Mags’ cupboard. The jar with the dust on top because no one know what to do with it!
Gather all your curry spices together first. In a dry pan, roast the following: two teaspoons cumin seed, one teaspoon brown or yellow mustard seed, as much chilli flakes as you wish, half a dozen green cardamom pods, a two inch stick of cinnamon, one teaspoon coriander seed, one teaspoon of tumeric, half a teaspoon of asofoetida. Wait till they are popping – about a minute or two – then pour into a mortar, wait till they cool a bit then grind them with a pestle, or grind in a coffee grinder (my ‘spice’ coffee grinder is a Freecycle cast off and about 15 years old). Please don’t use curry pastes – most run-of-the-mill supermarket ones are heavy on tumeric and low on authentic flavour.
In a deep wide pan, add oil and chopped onion and cook till the onion is soft. Then add the spices, making sure there is sufficient oil in the pan (the spices cook then start to thicken in the oil so you need enough oil there in the first place). Cook for about 2 minutes then add a tin of chopped tomatoes, salt to taste, a tablespoon of the rice wine vinegar and just a little sugar. (Seriously, curries often have vinegar in them, I’m not making it up!) Cook at a moderate heat for a good 10 minutes until the sauce is rich and thick. Now add a tin of drained jackfruit and cook for a further 15 minutes. Toward the end, use two forks to pull the jackfruit into shreds. You should now have a pretty thick sauce and thick shreds of jackfruit. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Let it rest for 5 minutes while you cook the parathas.
Now, you’re wondering, where does the dill mustard come in? Pour 100ml good thick plain yogurt into a bowl and add two big dollops of the dill mustard and mix it thoroughly.
Have some plates ready, a bowl of chopped coriander and an extra bowl of the dill mustard yogurt on the table – maybe spike with more chopped fresh dill and mint. Take a paratha, spread it with a little mustard/yogurt then tear off a good sized chunk and scoop up some curried jackfruit, top with some more yogurt from the bowl and a sprinkle of chopped coriander.
Phew. Shame I don’t like jackfruit. It sounds rather good!!