Echorer Dalna (Bengali Raw Jackfruit Curry)Sunday, April 13, 2014
All bengalis are now enthusiast about the Bengali New Year which is on 15th of April this year. The current Bengali year is 1421. The Bengali year is 594 less than the AD. The first day is called "Poila Boisakh". In Bengali, Poila stands for ‘first’ and Boishakh is first month of the Bengali calendar.
In bengal, the whole Boishakh (the first month) month is considered to be an auspicious time for marriages. On Poila Boisakh, people wear new clothes and meet with family and friends. Also, cultural programmes are being organized in every corner of the city, Kolkata. Young women wearing white saris with red borders and men in dhuti-kurta, take part in the Probhat Pheri(morning procession), where men, women, small girls and boys walk around the locality singing and dancing to some folk tunes in the early hours of morning to welcome the first day of the year. This day being auspicious, new businesses and new ventures are also started.
Poila Boishakh is the beginning of all business activities in Bengal. The Bengali traders purchase new accounting book or halkhata and begins business only after offering puja. Mantras are chanted and shostik ("Hindu swastika") are drawn on the accounting book by the priests. Long queues are to be seen in front of the temples to seek the blessings of the almighty on the first day of the year.
After all these, comes the part which any bengali can't skip, indulging in delicacies are cooked on the first day to welcome the new year. As you know Bengalis are synonymous to fish and meat, but we have so many Vegetarian delicacies, that people have no idea. "Potoler Dorma", "Doi Sorshe Phulkopi", "Dudh Lau", "Sukto", "Mochar Ghanto" are some of the veg delicacies we have along with many others. You can visit my Recipe Index for more such Bengali veg. preperation.Today I want to share another such vegetarian delicacy which is only available on early summer days.
Echorer Dalna or Raw jackfruit Curry :
Echor as we call the raw jackfruit in Bengali. Jackfruit is rich in important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and many other nutrients. After the winter, fruits slowly start to come and with the onset of summer, it ripens. If you want to eat it raw, then this is the right time. Still you'll get teh raw jackfruit in market. For me, My in-laws have a big tree and we can pluck one or two whenever we want to eat them. I am not fond of ripe jackfruit, but I love the raw ones. Raw Jackfruit is also known as 'Gach Patha' in Bengal, which literally means "tree goat". Echor or raw jackfruit is compared to goat meat because its texture almost matches with the goat meat and the nutritional benefits are also the same. Actually it is cooked with the same spices like goat meat and the curry also tastes like meat only. So vegetarians who want to enjoy the taste of mutton without actually having it can have this curry.
Now lets head to the recipe :
Cutting of jackfruit :
Cutting jackfruit can be intimidating. If you want to eat it raw, but the one, which has small sized seed. That tastes best. First and foremost, spread a big newspaper on the ground. Put mustrad oil to your knife or any other cutting device, because jackfruit secrets a sap that is very sticky and also not easily washable. Also rub oil on both sides of your hands well. Cut into half and then take out the thick and spiky outer skin. Then cut the hard region in the middle as that part is not edible. After that cut into small cubes from the rest. If you have a raw jackfruit that has big seed in it, then take the seed out and there is a skin, covering over the seed, take that skin out and use the seed in the curry.
Another quick tip : when you cut a raw jackfruit, you'll see some sap got stuck to your knife. Place the knife over the flame of gas for a minute, then rub with newspaper, your knife will be clean in a jiffy.
Raw jackfruit : 500 gm.
Potato : 2, medium, cubed
Onion : 2, thinly sliced
Ginger : 1" piece, grated
Garlic : 2-3 cloves, grated
Green chillies : 1-2, as per taste
Tomatoes : 2, chopped
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Red Chilli powder : 2 tsp.
Cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander Powder : 1 tsp.
Bay leaf : 1
Cardamom : 2
Cloves : 3
Cinnamon stick : 1(1")
Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp.
Oil : 2-3 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Ghee(clarified butter ) : 1 tsp.
Garam masala : 2 cardamoms, 3 cloves & 1 Cinnamon stick(1") - slightly roasted and powdered
How To :
- Pressure cook or blanch the cut jackfruit pieces with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt until just done. Jackfruit cooks very fast, may be 1 or 2 whistle in pressure cooker. Drain and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan, fry the potato cubes with a pinch of salt till golden brown and keep aside. In the same oil, temper with bay leaf, cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds, when they start to crackle, add sliced onions and saute till onions turn brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Saute for a minute.
- Then add all powdered spices along with chopped tomatoes. Add 2-3 tblsp. water and cook the spices well till tomatoes softens. Add cooked jackfruit and fried potatoes in there. Season with salt and sugar. Then add about 1 cup of hot water and season with a salt, cover with a lid. Check time to time and stir in between.
- When water evaporates and jackfruit and potatoes are cooked well, add ghee and garam masala powder. Mix everything well. Cook for another minute or two and then remove from heat.
Serve with freshly cooked hot rice..............................