Friday, 17 January 2014

Idichakka Thoran

The moment I saw these tender raw jack fruit lying on the shelves at SPAR I knew I had to take it home with me. But why? It got me nostalgic. Yeah I have told this earlier too I realize. Anything that reminds of summer vacations at my maternal grandparents place in Kerala makes me emotional and nostalgic. Jack fruits and mangoes definitely fall into this category. What fun it was to pull them down right in ones own garden and farm. Gone are those days of fun during vacations.

Tender raw jack fruits(ഇടിച്ചക്ക) could easily get confused for breadfruit (കടച്ചക്ക). But both taste different and are cooked different as well. 

Cleaning and cooking tender raw jack fruits (ഇടിച്ചക്ക) or for that matter any form of Jack fruit is not an easy job. One needs to grease hands and the knife with enough oil so as to spare the gum from sticking all over.  And please be careful not to cut your fingers the way I managed to.  The outer skin is very rigid and thick and takes time to be removed. Best done after cutting down the jack fruit into cubes. The beauty of tender raw jack fruit is that only the outer skin needs to be removed and every other part of the fruit can be cooked.

A friend suggested I try making dry roast dish similar to the beef ularthiyathu and so I have kept aside some cooked cubes to try them out in the coming days. 

This time around, I have attempted to bring in the flavours similar to that of my grandmothers thoran preparation.

Ingredients
2 cups de-skinned and diced     Tender Raw Jackfruit          
2 tsp                                           Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp                                        Turmeric Powder                
   
3/4 cup                                       Grated Coconut                                         
3-4 depending on spice levels    Green Chillies                                            
3/4 cup cleaned and sliced         Shallots                                                                                                                                 
1 tsp finely chopped                   Ginger                                                        
1 tsp finely chopped                   Garlic                                                         

1 tsp                                          Mustard Seeds
1 tsp                                          Urad dal
2 Sprigs                                     Curry Leaves
3-4 depending on spice levels  Split Dry Red Chillies  

2 tsp depending on spice levels  Crushed Pepper Pods

Salt                                           As per taste
Oil                                            2 tsp

My way of making
1. Pressure Cook the diced jack fruit for about one whistle with turmeric powder, salt, chilli powder. Do not over cook. Drain the water if there is excess and crush the cooked jackfruit with a pestle or rolling pin or use the back of the spoon with all the elbow power you posses. Easier way is to use the mixer but do not churn them to a paste. Pulsing them would help.
2. Grind together coconut, green chillies, shallots,ginger and garlic without water.
3. In a wok, heat oil and wait for the mustard to crackle. Add urad dal to it and add the split red chillies and curry leaves.
4. To this add the crushed jack fruit and add along the crushed pepper pods. Check for salt and add if necessary only.
5. Add the ground coconut paste to the jack fruit and saute for about three four times and cook covered for five minutes.
6. Serve hot with steaming rice.