It is jackfruit season in Kerala and the tree in my cousin’s backyard is laden with fruit. She gave me raw jackfruit and my original plan was to cook it the traditional way with coconut. But the smell of fresh raw jackfruit as it boiled was so tempting that I decided to try to make biryani with it. This is a recipe that I developed on the fly and the end result turned out delicious.
Raw jackfruit 300 g, cut into cubes
Turmeric 1 tsp
Basmati rice 2 cups, soaked for 15 minutes and drained
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Onion 1 medium, sliced
Garlic cloves 5
Ginger 1” piece
Green chilli 1, chopped
Tomato 1 large, chopped
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Oil 2 tbsps
Water as needed
Boil the raw jackfruit in two cups of water with salt and turmeric till all the liquid evaporates. By now the jackfruit should be tender but still succulent.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. You can use any vegetable oil.
Add the mustard seeds. When the seeds stop sputtering, add the onions. Sauté the onions till they turn golden brown.
Crush the garlic and ginger in a stone pestle and mortar. Add this to the onions. Sauté for a few minutes till the raw smell of garlic disappears. This should take only about 2-3 minutes. Add the curry leaves.
Add the cooked jackfruit to the pan and fry for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and green chilli. Fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the drained rice and mix well. Add the spices and add about 3 cups of water.
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the biryani and cook till the water evaporates. By now the rice will be cooked.
Switch off the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Serve with a green salad or mango salsa.