Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jack Fruit Seed and Green Banana Mezhukupuratti (Vazhakkai and Chakkakuru Fry)

This simple traditional dry curry is a Kerala classic. I was very fortunate to find some jack fruit at the farmer's market and saved the seeds for this. Jack fruit seeds have a taste similar to chestnuts; they are also delicious in Molakootal, Molagushyam, Aviyal, etc.

Both bananas and Jack fruit seeds are a bit starchy and benefit from abundant hydration to make them soft and tasty. Hence the traditional method of cooking them in water before seasoning them. Any kind of green bananas (plantains, large or small eating ones, etc) may be used; the only requirement is that they be green and not at all ripe. Since the mezhukkupuratti (often called "fry") is not particularly spicy, it goes well with Sambar, Rasam, or other spicy curries.

If you don't have any Jack fruit seeds, no problem - make the curry with bananas alone or with yard long beans, cooked adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, etc.

You might not want to use an unseasoned iron wok as the bananas will turn quite dark; so use a well seasoned wok or kadai or a non-reactive one. The darkening does not affect either the taste or the quality of the curry; it just isn't pleasing aesthetically.


1/2 cup Jack Fruit Seeds
1 dried Red Chile, broken into two
2 Green Bananas, any kind
1 pinch Turmeric
1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 or 2 Dry Hot Red Chiles
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves


Crush the Jack fruit seeds slightly and remove the tough skins from them; cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Place them in a pan with the broken chile and a cup of water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer while preparing the bananas.

Peel the outer green layer from the bananas; and cut them into bite-sized chunks.

The jack seeds should be tender now. Add the banana pieces to the jack seeds along with turmeric and salt; cook until soft but not mushy; bananas do not take long to cook. Let cool. Drain if there is too much liquid left.

Heat the oil in a stainless steel kadai (Indian wok) or skillet and add the red chilies and mustard seeds; when mustard starts popping, add the curry leaves and the cooked vegetables.

Cook over low to medium heat for about 10 minutes or so turning the veggies gently until they are dry and a little caramelized.

Serve hot with rice/rotis, Sambar/Rasam or any dals, etc. Enjoy!!

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