Jackfruit seeds are adored in India & in other parts of the world. Cooked, roasted or steamed, they're delicious. In Konkani cuisine, we use them in dry masalas (side dishess called as sukke in Konkani), in curries etc. And like rest of the world, we love cooked jackfruit seeds (cooked with salt, until soft). And enjoy them as a snack.
One day, a tweep on Twitter mentioned jackfruit seed stir fry. I had never had jackfruit stir fry, so I had to try it. I asked Chandni Pai, how she made it at home. Her recipe was simple, peel jackfruit seeds, scrap the brown skin, season with mustard seeds, add red chilli powder & cook them. I modified the recipe to suit my Konkani taste buds. :) It turned out delicious.
I took some time to experiment & figure out how jackfruit seed stir fry tastes the best. The first time I cooked this stir fry, I peeled jackfruit seeds but left their brown skin on. On cooking, I realised the thin brown skin alters the taste of cooked jackfruit seeds. On chewing, they peel off & stay back in your mouth as residue, being a hassle while enjoying the delicious stir fry.
So, next, I had to figure out, how to peel off jackfruit seeds thin, brown skin. So, here's what I did. I soaked fresh jackfruit seeds in water for an hour. You can then peel off a majority of the skin. Soak them for an hour more & they'll come off quite easily. But there'll still be bits of stubborn brown skin that are very hard to peel off using your nails/sharp knife. Leave them out. They won't bother much. Remove the brown skin out as much as you can.
Next thing I figured instantly was soaking them in hot water, fastens their soaking. And that dried jackfruit seeds are hard to peel and chop. Few hours of soaking should help you handle dried jackfruit seeds. But for the sake of ease, use fresh jackfruit seeds. 1-4 days dried jackfruit seeds are ok to use. Jackfruit seeds dried for a week shall work. Jackfruit seeds dried for longer will need proper soaking to work with them. The longer they're dried, the longer you'll have to soak them.
Here are some tips to chop a ripe jackfruit.
A little heads up. Jackfruit seeds take some time to prep before you cook them. Scraping the jackfruit seed brown skin requires little patience & time. But as they say, no pain, no gain. And I promise the end result is well worth it.
Jackfruit seeds are called bikand in Konkani & stir fry's are known as upakari in Konkani. So, here's bikanda upakari for you.
Prep Time + Chopping time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
1. Peel jackfruit seeds. The outer cream coloured outer skin can be peeled off easily. Fresh jackfruit seeds might require you to use a knife. But after they're dried for a day or more, they can be peeled off easily.
2. Soak jackfruit seeds in water for 1-2 hours. Jackfruit seeds dried up to a week are easy to work with (can be peeled & chopped easily). Jackfruit seeds dried for longer will need longer soaking hours. Soak them in hot water to fasten the soaking time.
2. Peel off the thin brown skin. Tiny stubborn bits of brown skin clinging onto the jackfruit seeds can be left on. They won't matter much. Remove the brown skin out as much as you can. After soaking they can be removed off easily using your fingers/nails/knife edge.
3. Then chop jackfruit seeds into roundels or into thin slices. Use a sharp knife. If it's proving difficult, just chop them whichever way you like. Uniform pieces/roundels ensure uniform cooking. That's all.
4. Keep chopped pieces of jackfruit seeds aside.
5. Heat up oil in a wok, add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add urad dal, dried red chilli roughly broken into tiny pieces, curry leaves, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and saute until urad dal starts to brown.
6. Add in chopped jackfruit seeds, about a cup of water, salt, jaggery (optional, if you want the stir fry a little sweet) & mix well.
7. Cook closed on medium flame until jackfruit seeds cook through. We want them soft, yet hold their shape. Mushy jackfruit seeds will be soft & delicious but don't look appetising.
8. Add more water in between if required to cook. They take about 20-25 minutes to cook, depending on the freshness of jackfruit seeds. It's hard to overcook jackfruit seeds, so do not worry.
9. Once all the water has evaporated & the jackfruit seeds have cooked through, add in grated coconut & mix well. Check & adjust salt and spice.
10. Remove the pan from heat, serve the stir fry hot or once it cools down as a side for lunch, dinner.
Tags: Bikand, jackfruit seeds, jackfruit seed stir fry, bikanda upakari, cooking, food, recipe, vegan, vegetarian.