Friday, 8 March 2013

Recipe of the week - Masala Jackfruit and Plantain Curry

Jackfruit and Plantain Cashew Curry

Masala Jackfruit and Plantain Cashew Curry
Serves 4 to 6

Jackfruit is used throughout Asia and the Caribbean as a “meaty” ingredient in stews and curries. This one is very inauthentic, and isn’t even based on a traditional recipe, just completely made up. Masala means “mixture” in Hindi and refers to the spices used, and it could mean that this is a mix of influences. This mixture doesn’t stop the curry from being delicious! There are sweet bursts from the plantains, sour from the brined jackfruit, salty from the cashews, all together in the creamy, spiced (but not overly spicy) sauce. The cashews also provide a nice texture variation.
I like this with a bread of some sort, be it a roti, naan, or even in a wrap. It’s also good over a bowl of plain brown basmati rice.

Remember to soak the nuts!
Tinned Green Jackfruit in Brine (make sure you don’t get ripe jackfruit in syrup) can often be found in Indian Spice stores, or wherever you purchase Latin food products.

You can buy ready made Garam Masala, which is a mix of spices used in Indian cooking, wherever spices are sold.
If you would prefer more heat use the Serrano Pepper, less heat, the Jalapeno.
Buy your plantain when it is green a few days in advance of making this recipe and allow to ripen in your fruit bowl alongside regular bananas. It is best for this recipe when completely yellow and just starting to have black specks.
Either buy the cashew nuts ready roasted and salted or toast them yourself.

Preparation Time – 25 Minutes

[gluten free]
[soy free]

1 cup raw Cashew Nuts, soaked overnight then drained and rinsed

1 cup Vegetable Stock

1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds

1 ½ teaspoons Garam Masala, see Notes
1 ½ teaspoons Tandoori Spice Mix

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

1 tablespoon minced fresh Ginger
3 cloves Garlic, minced
½ medium Onion, finely chopped
1 Serrano or Jalapeno Chile Pepper, see Notes
1 red Bell Pepper, finely chopped

2 cups (20-ounce tin) Green Jackfruit in Brine, drained and rinsed, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 large ripe Plantain, chopped into ¼-inch cubes, about 1 ½ to 2 cups, see Notes
½ teaspoon Salt
1 cup Vegetable Stock

3 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup roasted salted Cashew Nuts, see Notes

Salt, Pepper and Hot Sauce as required

Using a food processor or powerful blender pulse the soaked cashew nuts to a paste.
Add the first cup of vegetable then blend until smooth and thick. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat and toast the mustard and cumin seeds until aromatic, 2 minutes. Add the spice mixes and toast a minute more. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the oil to the hot skillet, then sauté the ginger through bell pepper until soft and aromatic, and just starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the jackfruit, plantain, salt, and stock, stir to combine.
Cover, set heat to low and cook for 6 hours until sauce is thick and jackfruit and plantain are tender. Add additional stock or water, if required, if the sauce is too thick for your preferences.
Stir through the tomato and cashews prior to serving.
Taste and season as required.

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