Enchor, is what Bengalis call raw jackfruit, well not exactly. I say not exactly because, when written in English the exact Bengali pronunciation goes haywire, but yes I have tried to get as close to the Bengali pronunciation as possible. Enchorer means raw jackfruit’s and dalna is the name of this preparation. For want of a better word I decided to substitute the word curry for dalna in English.
Those of you who have been following my blog may remember that I started this blog so that, I could have a record of all my mum’s delicious dishes, but unfortunately my mum suddenly passed away two years back, quite close to the blog’s first anniversary. At that point of time I was sure that there would be certain dishes which I would never attempt to cook, one of them was raw jackfruit. I was sure it was something just too difficult for me to attempt. This is a summer vegetable, though nowadays you might even find it during the late winter or early spring, but it is better to have it in summer when it is in season. After my mum passed away I had a tough time thinking up a menu for the summer months, so finally I decided to attempt cooking the raw jackfruit. Thankfully vegetable vendors in Mumbai peel and chop the raw jackfruit for you, but if they don’t do so where you live, then you will need a really sharp knife to do the needful. Bengalis eat a particular portion of the raw jackfruit.
I never watched mum actually cook the raw jackfruit, but I do know how she went about preparing for it and since it is called a dalna, I am pretty sure this is how it is cooked. Anyway it tasted just like mum’s, so I guess I have got it right.
Although I have demonstrated everything in the video, I have given below the detailed recipe.
- ½ kg Raw Jackfruit
- 3 Potatoes
- One small or medium size tomato or half a big tomato
- Approximately 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of ginger paste
- Approximately ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3 to 4 teaspoons of coriander-cumin seed mix powder.
- Chilli powder to taste
- One green cardamom
- 3 cloves
- About a inch long stick of cinnamon
- One bay leaf (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Required quantity of any cooking oil of your choice
- While preparing the jackfruit for cooking, either wear gloves or smear some oil on your hands or better still take bowl of water and add some salt to it, dip your fingers in this water while handling the raw jackfruit, this will prevent your fingers from getting sticky and turning black. Take care to smear some oil on the knife, if you don't do so, the surface of the knife will become sticky and you will have a tough time trying to clean the knife.
- Please watch the video to see how I have chopped off the portions of the raw jackfruit for cooking.
- Add water and some turmeric powder to these pieces of the jackfruit and its seeds and boil them. You may pressure cook them to save time.
- Peel and chop the potatoes. If the potatoes are large, chop them into 4 pieces, if they are medium sized or slightly small (not the baby potatoes) then cut them into halves.
- Heat the cooking oil in a vessel and add the cumin seeds, once the seeds begin to crackle, add the chopped potatoes. Stir fry for a while till the potatoes are partially cooked.
- Add the chopped tomato, stir and add the salt. When you add the salt at this stage, it helps to soften the tomato. You can later adjust the salt according to your taste.
- After the tomato has softened a bit, add the ginger paste, turmeric powder, coriander and cumin seed mix powder and the chilli powder. I always use Kashmiri red chilli powder because it imparts colour to the dish without making it too hot. You can use any red chilli powder of your choice.
- Stir fry for a while and then add the boiled raw jackfruit along with the water in which it was boiled.
- Cover and cook till done.
- Add a bit of sugar to balance the flavours. How watery or how dry you would like the dish to be is a matter of personal choice. I prefer it slightly watery.
Serve hot with steamed rice or parathas or puris or even plain old phulka rotis.
Here is the video: