Its that time of the year when you have plenty of jackfruit at your dispersal. Its jackfruit season in India once again and for me its time to reminisce my childhood. Jack fruit is another fruit which can be had raw and cooked. Almost all the parts of it is edible. This is another fruit which I enjoy eating and cooking in different forms. Since Lent, Vishu and Easter are fast approaching, I’m planning to do some recipes of jack fruit and some vegetarian dishes. Requests have already started coming up. So I plan to take up the recipes as early as possible so that you can get ready in advance.
The idea of this dish is by mother, who prepares it differently. Bitter gourd is not a much appreciated dish in my household, so to make it palatable, I have made some twists on it. Bitter gourd is a veggie with lots of health benefits. For me any veggie would do, as I don’t prefer non veg everyday. Moreover, as age has started to advance, I like to stick on to spicy and traditional dishes on a daily basis. Both jack fruit seeds and bitter gourd will fulfill your many nutrient needs. It is said that these seeds with skin on provides high proteins. For all the ladies out there, it would be interesting to note that this seed will help in getting a flawless and wrinkle free skin. So from now on wards those who throw away the seeds, please collect it from the ripe fruit and store it after drying it under the sun for later use.
This time let me start off with the beauty aspects of this seed. The first and the foremost is that it helps in fighting wrinkles. Take a seed of jackfruit and keep it dipped in cold milk for a while. Grind it well and apply softly on your wrinkles. It is believed to work on wrinkles in just about four-five weeks time. Apply regularly for best results. You want to change your complexion, just have these seeds directly, which helps prevent constipation as it is high on fibre. A detoxified system is the first and foremost thing for a glowing complexion. Jackfruit seed is used to get a flawless skin. You just need to soak the dry seed with some milk and honey and grind it into a fine paste. Now apply this paste on your face evenly and let it dry completely. Wash it off to get a flawless skin within minutes.
Jackfruit is absolutely one of a kind tropical fruit recognized for its unique shape, and size. The fruity flavor of its sweet arils (bulbs) can be appreciated from a distance. In common with other tropical fruits such as durian and banana. It is also rich in energy, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins and free from saturated fats or cholesterol; fitting it into one of the healthy treats to relish! The fruit made of soft, easily digestible flesh (arils) made up of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly.
Jackfruit is rich in dietary fiber, which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by binding to and eliminating cancer-causing chemicals from the colon. The fresh fruit has small but significant amounts of vitamin-A, and flavonoid pigments such as carotene-ß, xanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin-ß. Together, these compounds play vital roles in antioxidant and vision functions. Vitamin-A also required for maintaining the integrity of mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A and carotenes has been found to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Jackfruit is a good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 13.7 mg or 23% of RDA. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals. It is one of the rare fruits that is rich in a B-complex group of vitamins. It contains outstanding amounts of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. Further, fresh fruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. I have even seen some posts and write up which says that millions with out food in this world can be fed with the enormous scale of jack fruits grown and wasted in a year which can fulfill many bodily needs in under nourished and poverty stricken people. So we all should be thankful for the enormous blessings we have and should utilize each and every tiny bit of morsels of food we get from nature.
Again, Jackfruit seeds are indeed very rich in digestible starch, protein, and minerals. In general, the seeds are gathered from the ripe fruit during summer, sun-dried and stored for use during the rainy season in many parts of South-Indian states. Again, in these areas, jackfruit seeds can be employed in a variety of recipes where they are eaten either by roasting as a snack or added to stews (curries) in place of lentils and even as sweets.
I’m not getting into the benefits of bitter gourd. Combination of bitter gourd and jack fruit seed rightly get balanced due to the bitterness of the gourd and sweetness of the seed. This becomes a perfect blend when tempered with shallots and chilli flakes blending all the flavors and rightly balancing it. Bitter gourd is so bitter that none of my inmates other than me enjoy it. So I do all kinds of gimmicks on this veggie so that its palatable in one or the other due to immense health benefits.
I marinated the bitter gourd with turmeric, salt, chilli powders along with tamarind paste or extract. I always use the home grown tamarinds which are sent by my aunt or mom. Soak it in water for half an hour and extract the pulp and store it in fridge for couple of uses. This marinade will help in reducing the bitterness. Then cook it separately and add it to cooked jack fruit seeds. Those who do not prefer bitterness at all, can add some water and drain that water once its cooked.
I tempered it pretty decently spiced and hot to balance all the flavors. Pressure cook the jack fruit seeds so it becomes tender quickly. These are all easy recipes which you can whiz up in minutes and healthy for lent season also.
Peel the outer white skin of the jack fruit wash and cut into juliennes
In a pressure cooker, add the jack fruit seeds, slit chillies and turmeric powder. Add 1/4 cup of water. Cook for 3 whistles.
Marinate the sliced bitter gourd along with turmeric, Chilli powders along with tamarind paste and salt. Cook till done and firm.
Once the pressure is released, add the cooked bitter gourd to the cooked seeds and adjust the salt.
Heat a pan, add coconut oil, add the onions and shallots and fry till light golden, add the chilli flakes and chilli powder and fry till aromatic, add the curry leaves and pour on to the cooked veggies and mix well.
Cook for 5 minutes stirring randomly on medium flame, until well infused.
Serve hot with rice.