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Quick and Easy Jackfruit Salad

Jackfruit into salad ?

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I never thought I’d make this jackfruit into a salad but several years back when my mother mentioned that baby jackfruit makes a very interesting salad, I was intrigued.

What is jackfruit you might ask? Well it is one ugly tropical fruit that looks like a hedgehog trying to clamber up a tree. It is from the same family as breadfruit and is said to have originated from the rain forests in the Western ghat region . The fruit when ripe is sweet and smelly . Some people love it while most people don’t.

And when the fruit is raw, it can be used to make a vegetable that often is mistaken for a meat dish. However, it is still not very popular and I am always a bit hesitant to make it.

However, while walking through my favourite vegetable haunt Bhaji Gully, I came across this baby jackfruit which I daresay, looked so ‘cute’ that I just had to buy it. Then, having bought it, I just had to make it.

Today I’ve invited some old college friends to lunch and thought that they might just like it – at least as a complete novelty since the one time I made it, it was a resounding success. I do hope it works out well….. In the meanwhile, here’s the recipe to make a quick and easy jackfruit salad.


Steam the jackfruit and remove the skin and central core. Make into bite sized pieces and add freshly grated coconut, finely chopped coriander, chopped green chillies, some soaked cashews and peanuts, a dash of lime and salt. Mix well and add a tempering of garlic and mustard seeds. Serve chilled and watch it disappear!!

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Red carrots and other winter goodies like RASAM……..

Ah! I woke up this morning to a distinct crispness in the air. With half of Bombay sneezing in your face and the other half submerged in the early morning smog , it’s apparent that the winds have changed. And the cold winds from the north have brought in something else – the red carrot .

Bhaji gully and all fresh produce  markets are displaying red carrots or the Delhi carrot which like the Delhi peas announce the start of a new winter season. Mumbai in winter is like a pleasant summer day for most of my North America cousins but for me it is a time for  fresh mackerel, gajar halwa, pea samosas and lots of other winter goodies. What bliss it was to walk down the lane around 11 in the morning when the vegetable vendors have just piled their baskets with fresh produce that is bursting with health and goodness.

Fiery hot rasam

What is perfect for a nippy afternoon especially when your nose is dripping with a cold that is not really a cold but is good enough to bother you, is the RASAM or fiery pepper water that opens up all the sinuses and drains out any trace of a cold.

 

  • So this afternoon I got down to making my sure fire remedy for a cold that is not a cold The fiery hot pepper water aka RASAMI put 4 tablespoons of Toor dal or Split  Pigeon Pea legume (for those purists who insist on English names) with twice the amount of water to cook in the pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles.While the dal was cooking I got together the following ingredients
    • 1 Tbspn oil
    • 5 curry leaves
    • 1/4 tspn Mustard seed
    • 1/4 tspn turmeric powder
    • 1 ripe red tomato finely diced
    • 6 green chillis slit lengthwise
    • 1 tablespoon of dried

    tamarind which I soaked in 1/2 cup of warm water

  • 1 tablespoon of freshly crushed black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander to finish off

And here’s what I did:

I put the oil to heat in a bowl and after it was hot, added the curry leaves and mustard seed. I allowed the mustard seed to pop before adding the turmeric powder and the tomato. I let the tomato sweat a bit before adding the green chilli and pepper powder. If you add the chilli before the tomato, the whole house begins to cough with the vile aroma that emanates from the pot. I then added some water and squeezed out the sourness from the tamarind which I added to the pot. ( No I did not add the tamarind but the sourness from the tamarind – a good example of a dangling modifier) . I brought the whole mixture to the boil .

In the meanwhile the dal was done, so I took it off the heat and removed it from the pressure cooker. I blended it together and bunged the whole mixture in the bubbling pot. I let it bubble and boil for some more time before adding salt and freshly chopped coriander.

I turned off the heat, covered the pot and let it sit till the heat from the pepper and chillies permeated the concoction before having a sip of the divine Rasam…….mmmmmmmmmmm just try it for a nose dripping and sinus cleaning experience.

 

Rishi chi Bhaji : Fat free and Guilt Free

Top row : French Beans
Middle row ( left to right) Snake gourd, pumpkin, bottle gourd, Yam
Bottom row : Runner beans

What do the following vegetables have in common?

  • French Beans
  • Runner beans
  • Pumpkin
  • Snake gourd
  • Bottle gourd
  • Amaranthus
  • Colocasia 
  • Yam

No, this is not a botany test but I’ll give you the answer anyways – they are all vegetables that don’t require to be cultivated by oxen. Today is the day when these beasts of burden are actually given the day off and their labour is saluted by eating vegetables that grow without their help. Thus on this day you can get a whole assortment of vegetables which are all dunked together and cooked for several hours till they all come together. Normally these vegetables are found growing around the house but today when gardens are few, you can easily source them from the local market.

Thus yesterday while walking through my favourite market place at Bhaji Gully I when I came upon these veggies, I thought I’d give the usual Aloo gobi a miss and try these for a change. A lady who was also buying these vegetables actually told me that this vegetable is made without any oil, and with whatever spices you normally use to spice up your dishes………..and if you make it in the pressure cooker you don’t have to cook it for hours.

So I came home with a quarter kilo of assorted veg and chopped them up to make a yummy, fat free and guilt free (No animals were used during the cultivation) dish. Of course you can eat this all year round but I’m sure its tastier because you know it’s an annual affair!