Jackfruit, both the unripe and ripe fruit, is very popular in Sri Lanka. The unripe jackfruit is cooked in different styles across the country. My mother and I like the Southern style. My mother’s unripe jackfruit dishes therefore are a slightly adapted version of her friend’s recipes for polos and kos mallung. While I will certainly post the long and traditional way of cooking polos when someone sends me the recipe for it, today I would like to share the adapted recipes that my mother uses.
Cooking time: 1 hour
- Unripe jackfruit/ kos/ palakkai – 2 ½ cup (250 g), chopped and cleaned after peeling off skin
- Chillies – 2
- Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Cloves – 3
- Cinnamon – small piece
- Cardamon – 3
- Ginger – ½”
- Garlic – 3 – 4 cloves
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Rampe leaf/ pandan
- Onion – ½, large and chopped
- Freshly scraped coconut – ¼ cup
- Salt, to taste – 1 tsp
- Tamarind extract – ¼ cup or Goraka/ Garcinia Cambogia – small piece
- Water – 1 ½ cups
- Put the cleaned and chopped up raw jackfruit in a pot. Add 1 ½ cups of water and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes till the water dries up. Remove from heat and drain off the water.
- Dry roast the chillies, coriander and cumin, grind them and add to the pot.
- Crush the ginger and garlic and add the ginger-garlic paste to the pot.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom together with the chopped onion, curry leaves and rampe leaf to the pot.
- Blend ¼ cup of freshly scraped coconut with 2 cups of water. Strain and add the coconut milk to the pot.
- Add the goraka piece or tamarind extract to the pot.
- Add salt to taste and mix all ingredients in the pot well.
- Put the pot back on the stove and cook for 10 minutes.
- Then, reduce to low heat and simmer for about 30 mins. If the ingredients are scaled up, the simmering time also needs to be increased. For e.g. if 1 Kg of jackfruit is being cooked, the simmering time will need to be at least 2 hours.
- If you prefer having more gravy in your polos curry, add a little coconut milk and cook for a few minutes more before removing from heat.
- Serve with rice.
(b) Kos Mallung
Cooking time – 25 mins
- Young, unripe jackfruit/ kos/ palakkai – 2 cups, finely chopped after peeling off the skin and cleaning it
- Salt – ½ tsp + more, as per taste
- Pepper – ½ tsp
- Turmeric – ½ tsp
- Garlic – 4 – 5 cloves, chopped
- Green chillies – 2
- Onion – 1, small, chopped
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Scraped coconut – 1 tbsp (optional)
- Lime juice – 1 tsp
- Low fat oil (canola or sunflower) – 1 tbsp
- Water – ½ cup
- Marinate the finely chopped unripe jackfruit flesh and seed with ½ tsp salt, pepper and turmeric powder. Keep aside for about 10 minutes.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté the chopped garlic, chillies, onion and curry leaves for 2 minutes.
- Add the marinated finely chopped jackfruit to the pan. Mix well.
- Add ½ cup water and test for salt, adding more if required. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Uncover after 10 minutes and if there is still water in the pan, cook till the water dries up.
- If you like adding scraped coconut, you can add the freshly scraped coconut now and remove from heat.
- Add 1 tsp lime juice. Mix well and serve hot with rice.
Recipe source: Lalitha Senadheera and Raji Thillainathan.