Updated: Jun 15
Jackfruit is one vegetable that I really missed when I moved to Australia because we could never find fresh Jackfruit in Perth where I first lived many years. I have a very nostalgic relationship with this strange-looking, large and prickly fruit found everywhere in India.
It is a hard fruit to peel. You have to apply oil on your hands in order to hold it and cut it because the hard skin that covers this deliciously tender and meaty fruit is a pain to work with.
Thankfully I found freshly cut Jackfruit in the Asian vegetable stores when I moved to Sydney. The texture of cooked Jackfruit is like pulled pork or beef; it’s chewy and pretty easy to digest. The tender raw Jackfruit is used to make curries as it resembles meat in flavor. . However, this ripe fruit which has a powerful odor can also be eaten on its own and to make desserts. I also like to take shortcuts and buy my stash from the Uptons Brand, which can be found in most organic shops. This version is soaked in brine so it doesn’t need to be fried for curries. So, I love using this type of Jackfruit as the main ingredient in a Biryani, the famed Rice dish from India the recipe of which is listed below for you.
Recipe (Cooking time 1 hour, Serves 6)
For the Jackfruit:
350 gms raw Jackfruit or 2 cans of jackfruit in brine
2 large Red Onions
2 large Tomatoes
2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
4 Potatoes cut into chunks
3/4 cup yogurt
Coriander leaves 2 tbsps, finely chopped
Mint leaves 2 tbsps, finely chopped
For the Rice
1 ½ cup Long grain rice (I use Basmati which can be found in every grocery store)
Salt to taste
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Caraway seeds
Juice of ½ a Lemon
3 Green Cardamoms
2 cups water to cook the Rice
For the Garnishing:
Saffron few strands soaked in ½ cup lukewarm Milk
Crispy fried shallots (Found in Asian sections of all grocery stores)
1 tbsp freshly chopped Green Coriander
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 tsp Red chili powder or Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil or Ghee
1 Cinnamon Stick
7 Green Cardamoms
1 Black Cardamom
2 Bay leaves
If you were using raw Jackfruit, you should fry it first.
Then you will grind the spices listed in the Biryani Masala to a fine powder and marinate the , cook it and then marinate the Fried and cooled Jackfruit with this masala in yogurt along with the Potatoes for an hour before cooking.
However, since I am using Jackfruit that is already soaked in brine and is slightly cooked, I will not marinate it or grind the Biryani spice mix.
Wash the rice and cook it with 2 cups water with all the ingredients listed in the section. Since we are only using a little more than half a cup of Rice, it will not be cooked thoroughly. We will later cook the Rice with the Biryani
In a deep pan heat the oil or Ghee and then add caraway seeds, the ginger garlic paste, and spices from the Biryani spice mix listed above.
After a few seconds, add the sliced onions and cook till they are translucent.
Add the tomatoes and cook till mushy. Now lower the flame and add all the spices in the Spice mix except Salt and cook till the raw smell is gone. Ensure that the yogurt which is at room temperature, mix with a tbsp of water. This is important as the yogurt has a tendency to split when cooked.
Add the potatoes and mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
Now add the Jackfruit that is removed from the brine and washed gently in clean water. Since the Jackfruit is cooked, it may break so be gentle when handling it. Add salt, fresh coriander, and mint leaves, and gently mix everything together.
Layer the half-cooked rice on top of the mixture in the pan. I don’t remove the bay leaves, cardamom, etc. from the Rice. Ensure you cover the entire pan well.
Now drizzle the saffron-laced milk on the Rice, then the lemon juice, sprinkle the coriander and fried onions. Cover with a heavy lid and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat and cook for another 40 minutes.
Once cooked let it cool a little before scooping the rice from the sides ensuring you also pick up the Jackfruit and potatoes from the bottom. As I said I usually serve this Biryani the next day with a yogurt dip and it is delicious.
An important word of advice if I may:
For a Vegan, version use Coconut yogurt instead of a milk-based one.
Don’t let the number of ingredients in this recipe stop you from trying it because once you have eaten this Biryani, I can guarantee that there will be no going back. Also, one thing I would recommend is it to eat this Jackfruit Biryani the next day because somehow leaving the cooked Jackfruit and the Rice together overnight enhances the flavor immensely.