Polos and Kos Mallung

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.

(a) Polos

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves 4



  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Dry roast the chillies, coriander and cumin, grind them and add to the pot.
  3. Crush the ginger and garlic and add the ginger-garlic paste to the pot.
  4. Add the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom together with the chopped onion, curry leaves and rampe leaf to the pot.
  5. Blend ¼ cup of freshly scraped coconut with 2 cups of water. Strain and add the coconut milk to the pot.
  6. Add the goraka piece or tamarind extract to the pot.
  7. Add salt to taste and mix all ingredients in the pot well.
  8. Put the pot back on the stove and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Serve with rice.

(b) Kos Mallung

Cooking time – 25 mins

Serves 4

Kos Mallung


  • 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


  1. Marinate the finely chopped unripe jackfruit flesh and seed with ½ tsp salt, pepper and turmeric powder. Keep aside for about 10 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté the chopped garlic, chillies, onion and curry leaves for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the marinated finely chopped jackfruit to the pan. Mix well.
  4. Add ½ cup water and test for salt, adding more if required. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Uncover after 10 minutes and if there is still water in the pan, cook till the water dries up.
  6. If you like adding scraped coconut, you can add the freshly scraped coconut now and remove from heat.
  7. Add 1 tsp lime juice. Mix well and serve hot with rice.

Recipe source: Lalitha Senadheera and Raji Thillainathan.

3 thoughts on “Polos and Kos Mallung

    • Thank you for your comment, Aruna, and nice to hear that. Likewise, I realized the similarity and yet difference in Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine when I tried cooking a few dishes from each of the 28 states of India recently. My family’s favourite was Andhra cuisine.

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