Monday, September 29, 2014

That's a Fact, Jack! Part 1

 I enjoy going to the Korean market, as it's like finding an 
Easter egg every week.
This week was jackfruit. 
Behold the pictured jackfruit. Each of them formidable 
in size and heft, and I suspect they each 
weigh the equivalent of an American toddler (or more).

Given that we're celebrating Navratri in our household,
I figured this would be a nice treat for the holiday.
And by "nice treat," I do mean  "worth the effort," 
because for those folks not well versed in jackfruit,
it's a tricky, sticky endeavor. 

And by "sticky," I mean resinous.
Most people would oil up their hands,
however, I have nitrile gloves on hand, so I used 
them instead, as they give a better grip, and 
when done, I can just toss the gloves in the trash.
Here I am, dispatching the fruits and arils (seeds).
While yes, $1.19 a pound is pricey, I use both,
the fruits and the seeds, so that helps justify
the cost.

The fruits we generally eat out of hand. The seeds,
however, are an unusual treat. In India and Thailand,
boiled, peeled, salted jackfruit seeds are a delicacy.

Much in the way that fava beans need to be peeled,
so, too, do jackfruit seeds.
I found the best way to do so is to put them in a 
microwave safe bowl, submerge in water, cover,
and microwave until you start hearing the seeds
pop. Let cool, and it's easier to peel off the 
skins this way, or at least that's what "I" think.

The seeds from this point can either be salted and eaten,
and have the taste and texture similar to chestnuts,
OR! They can be tossed into a batch of sambar (whole) or
sliced up and added to sundals and poriyals.

Last night's Navratri sundal was (whole) green moong 
sundal, with sliced jackfruit seeds, and gave it all a
bit of tang from some amchoor powder.
I would have liked to have added some fresh 
green mango to it as well, but didn't have it on hand
and worked with what I had. And it was lovely.

Next up will be a batch of sambar, which I will
add the leftover seeds, perhaps some drumstick (another
favorite Indian vegetable/delicacy).

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