Palakkai Masala - Dry Veg side dish with Tender (Raw) Jackfruit


Tender or Raw Jack fruit curries are a delicacy. Popular Chettinad recipes with this vegetable are - Masala, Kootu, Poriyal, Milagu Podi Poriyal, Kuruma and Sodhi. If we manage to lay hands on one, we would share it with our close relatives, and definitely make at least two to three of these varieties. It is treated with un-imaginable reverence.

Cutting the jack fruit is not so much of a chore if you know how to go about it. For me, the following method is the best way to tackle the job -
First, oil your palms and knife.
Then, cut the Raw Jack fruit into 2 halves.
Once more into 2 quarters. Now, it will be more manageable.
Oil the knife once again if necessary. Keep a bowl of water with 1 Tbsp buttermilk mixed in.
Slice into wedges, crosswise and remove the green peel. Drop into the above said water. This ensures that your vegetable does not blacken. Repeat for the remaining wedges. It is not necessary to remove the hard central core. It cooks well in the pressure cooker.

If you are going to reserve half, for later use, cover the cut side with butter paper. Place it (paper and all) in a polythene bag and store in the refrigerator. Another way would be to cut it according to the curry you are planning to make; cook, drain, cool and then store in appropriate containers.

Raw Jack fruit - 3 cups
Curds - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric Pd - 1 pinch
Onion - 2, chopped
Tomato - 3, chopped
Oil - 1/4 cup
Chilli Powder - 2 - 3 tsp
Sambhar Pd - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Salt to taste

Cook the cut jack fruit pieces with 1 Tbsp curds, turmeric powder and 3 cups water in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. Drain and keep aside.
Heat oil and saute the onions until lightly browned. Add curry leaves, tomatoes, salt, sambhar powder and chilli powder. Simmer over a slow flame until till pulpy, and the oil separates.
Add in the cooked jack fruit and mix well. Cook over a low heat, stirring gently for 15 - 20 minutes.

The vegetable should absorb the masala and salt.
Serve with Rice and Rasam / Chettinad Soup. It also tastes great with Curd Rice.

Cooking over a very slow flame, in a thick vessel is the key to making this vegetable dish.
It does not require water. If you think it has gone dry, sprinkle very little water.

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