Monday, March 31, 2014

Enchor-er Tarkari /Green Jackfruit Curry/Kathal ki Sabzi – Cooked Satvik Style…no onion, no garlic

It was in my mind I had shared this curry recipe on my blog. But lo behold! This recipe was missing. Pictures were the old ones sitting in the photo album doing nothing but waiting for justice to be done to them by me in writing about them. I think at times…you can say it is a joke…photos also like to be seen by others as those in the photos like to be seen too.

Anyway, as summer draws in Enchor/Kathal/green jackfruit is available in the market. In its green form Bengalis address this fruit as enchor…na na na is not a fruit when it is served as a curry…sobji go sobji says the Bangali Bou… enchor and not kanthal. It is known as kanthal once the fruit ripens…a taste, flavor and smell of its own…some cannot bear the strong smell of this ripe fruit. The ripe one is good to taste and the seeds from it are dried and kept for later use. The seeds are used for cooking in curries or can be fried which gives the crunch and bite.

This time when I got this Enchor, at first sight I was afraid to dress it. Dressing enchor is a herculean task…for me…but still I prefer to do this at home. In the market place, those who sell this clean and size it up in small pieces…that’s the good thing in the market these days.

Enchor is also known as Gach Pa(n)tha because of its fleshy body and bite. There are varieties of preparations that can be cooked with it. Go for cutlets, koftas, add to mung dal, cooked with lots of spices like onion, garlic, and also cook the satvik way with no onion and garlic. Now it all depends on the person who is cooking to get the best taste out of it.

I remember one (parar/neighbourhood)  Mashima who used to cook mung dal with enchor…and the taste and smell, just no words to describe. Ma used to make tasty cutlets and koftas…always saw ways for a change in taste…that’s the sign of a good Grihini, elders says (suppressed smile)…

Let me tell you about the jackfruit tree in our compound. Pluck the fresh ones and cook, a heavenly taste. When the fruit ripens on the huge tree, you can have nightmares from the noise of the ones that fell on the ground and burst open. The fruit would lie scattered all around with the ripe fleshy small parts waiting for the arrival of the morning light to be collected and later eaten and relished to hearts content.

As I had said earlier in this post, really an uphill task to cut the jackfruit. Once it is cut open the sticky sap flows out. While cutting this I use lots of mustard oil to oil my bonthi as I don’t use a knife to cut it. If a knife is used it has to be rubbed with oil on both sides, same with my bonthi.

Next peeling and then chopping into small pieces. I use only the fleshy part and discard the rest.

Wash it and keep it aside.

To this add potatoes, peeled and cubed. Potatoes can be of the quantity you want. For a small enchor of about a kilo, can add 2 large size potatoes.

Tomatoes also enhance the taste, so add some tomatoes, about 2 small ones cut into tiny pieces.

Spices for the curry:

Tej patta/bay leaves: 3-4

Coriander powder: 2 ½ tsp

Haldi powder: ¾  tsp

Red chilli powder: ½ tsp. (add more if you want it hot and spicy)

Home-made garam masala: 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Cooking oil (mustard oil preferable): 3 tbsp

Sugar: 1tsp (optional)

My cooking process:

First take oil in a kadhai and heat it.

To this add the tejpatta and give it stir.

Soon add the enchor, tomato and potato pieces and stir.

Stir fry for about 5-7 minutes and by then the pieces will start to get the tinge of brown.

Time to add the powdered masalas and stir for a couple of minutes.

Add the salt and sugar and stir again

Next add about a cup of water and let the masalas cook along with the contents therein.

Have to stir from time to time till the masala is cooked which is very much visible as the oil starts to separate.

Add sufficient water for the enchor and potato pieces to soften leaving the bite and the body to it.

This may take more than 30 minutes if cooked in a kadhai.

Using a pressure cooker, once the lid is placed and starts whistling, watch out for 6-7 whistles.

Let the water dry up completely as this is a dry dish…sukha/ shukno tarkari.

Add the garam masala before pouring it out into the serving bowl.

…and your Enchor Tarkari is ready…

© gouri guha 2014

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