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Jackfruit Seeds and Curry

Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world and has a bold delicious taste but today, we’re going beyond the juicy fruit {some say juicy fruit gum was made after it}. Did you know that jackfruit seeds are edible? After de-podding your fruit, don’t throw it away! The “rags” or stuff left behind are edible too! Most popular for vegan “pulled bbq,” the young jackfruit rags don’t taste fruity or much like anything yet carries the texture of meat and absorbs any flavor like a sponge. Today, we’re turning it into a rich, spiced curry {but you could also use the seeds in the curry too!}

I was recently gifted with several jackfruit from our farmer friend.  If you happen to be on St. Croix, you can check him out every Saturday at the Southgate Farmer’s market from 8:30-12 where he still has a few prized jackfruit left from the season.  There are the obvious ways of enjoying jackfruit but then there are still others.  I often bear witness to too many de-podded fruits being tossed out yet, there is still so much left to be enjoyed.  The golden nuggets of this mammoth fruit is wonderful to eat straight away, frozen for a tropical smoothie, {I like it best when blended with rich, homemade coconut milk and tart, jammy lilikoi}, or even blended up into a creamy, dreamy ice cream.  Today, we’re focusing on the “rags” and seeds.  Both of these are delicious and edible.

Parts of a Jackfruit

The magical thing about jackfruit is that each part has a different taste and texture.  The main fruit itself is crisp with a reminiscent pineapple flavor when young while the mature fruit is soft and squishy with a banana like flavor.  As a whole, the flavor of jackfruit is blend of pineapple, banana and maybe even mango?  Everyone seems to have a different opinion.  The young stuff is best for recipes.  The rags then don’t exude a strong flavor either way and have a remarkable texture of pulled pork, hence its popularity as “vegan pulled bbq.”  The seeds have the uncanny resemblance in flavor to sweet potatoes or chestnuts and the same creaminess as potatoes.  You can actually fry or mash them up much like a regular potato.  Today, I treated them like nuts.

Jackfruit seeds can very simply be enjoyed right away after being boiling in salted water.  However, if you’re looking to jazz things up a bit, I really like my spicy rosemary mixture that I invented on a whim one night when all I had in my bare pantry peeking back at me was a bottle of peanuts.  The bold spices actually take away much of the chestnut-like presence and what you end up with is a sweet, spicy, herby and creamy snack.  Of course, you can toss them in whatever aromatics or seasonings you like/have.  Garlic butter to pumpkin spice, the options are endless.

Jackfruit Curry and Seeds

As for the jackfruit rags/pulp, the trick to really getting it to mimic a pulled meat substitute is to elect for a young fruit, wash it thoroughly before cooking and select more robust flavors.  BBQ is the common route but today, I went with curry.  The rich tangle of spices simmers together with the jackfruit in buttery coconut milk and the flavors really shine through.  After all, the jackfruit itself was pretty much a blank canvas to start with so you have the total control of directing its flow of flavors.  All in all, the jackfruit is an amazing specimen.  Just one of these guys provides endless recipe potential and versatile, maximum enjoyment.

Jackfruit Seeds and Curry
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
Jackfruit Seeds
  • ½ pound of seeds
  • 2 tb melted butter
  • 1 tb dried rosemary
  • 1 tb brown sugar
  • 2 ts salt
  • 2 ts garlic powder
  • ½ ts cayenne powder
  • ¼ ts smoked paprika
Jackfruit Curry
  • ½ pound of Jackfruit rags/pulp
  • ½ tb coconut oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 ts grated ginger
  • 1 c chopped tomatoes
  • ½ ts ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 ts chili powder
  • 1 ts red pepper flakes
  • 1 ts turmeric
  • 1 ts garam masala
  • 2 ts coriander
  • 2 c coconut milk
  • Cilantro garnish
Instructions
  1. For the seeds, peel the outer layers as shown in the video. Only the brown layer should be left behind.
  2. Boil in salted water for 20-30 minutes.
  3. In a pan, toss everything together {the butter, spices, seeds} for 10 minutes then serve.
  4. For the curry, sauté the onion and garlic in oil.
  5. Add the ginger and tomatoes.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer all together for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.

 

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