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Kathal | Jackfruit Biryani Recipe
Think of biryani and thoughts that crosses mind is of aromatic smell spices and an image of long grain rice in a plate. Normally biryani would also bring images of chicken or lamb biryani in mind. For vegetarians, it would mean the image of vegetable biryani.
I do not eat non-veg however people have told me that anything that is closest to taste of chicken is Jackfruit (Kathal in hindi), hence I decided to try out biryani with jackfruit. So here I am sharing my successful attempt of “Kathal (कटहल) Biryani / Jackfruit Biryani”.
Young jackfruit has a mild flavour and distinctive texture. The ripe fruits are sweet, cooling, laxative, aphrodisiac and tonic. For biryani we must use raw jackfruit.
Below are some interesting facts about Jackfruit:
The seeds of the fruit are edible. They contain starches and dietary fiber.
It is one of the rare fruit that is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. It contains good amounts of vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid.
Flesh of the Kathal is starchy and fibrous. It is a great source of dietary fiber.
In Hindi and Bangla it is called as ‘Kathal’, in Malayalam ‘Chakka’, in Kannada ‘Halasu’, and in Marathi it is called as ‘Fanas’.
Jackfruit have a distinctive sweet and fruity aroma. Ripened Jackfruit taste somewhat like banana.
My this recipe of Jackfruit biryani is pretty much inspired by Lamb biryani and Chicken biryani that I have shared here in past. This recipe is divided into two parts, one where Kathal is semi-cooked and so is rice and then cooking them in layers under a sealed pot (also called giving dum) and hence called “dum biryani”.
Jackfruit is a hugely beneficial vegetable. Some of the benefits include, fights wrinkles, helps glowing skin, high in protein, helps in hair growth, Jackfruit has antioxidants, phytonutrients and flavonoid that provide protection from cancer, improves digestion, regulates blood sugar level owing to its high magnesium content.
First of all, wash the rice and soak in enough water for 30 minutes. Boil raw jackfruit pieces for 10 minutes in hot boiling water. Drain Jackfruit completely so that all water is drained. Meanwhile soak saffron strands in luke warm milk.
Cook rice in a pan along with 4 cups of water, salt, oil, bay leaves, green and black cardamom, peppercorns and cloves until they are 80% done. Drain them in a colander and keep aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan/Handi, heat oil over medium heat. Shallow fry jackfruit pieces for 7-8 minutes till they are golden in colour. Take them out and keep aside.
In the same pan, add ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaves and onion and fry until onion is golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste and green chillies and fry for a minute.
Add yogurt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and jackfruit and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add mint, coriander, salt and 1/2 cup of water.
Cover and cook the jackfruit until it is done. Switch off the heat.
Spread half of the cooked rice over kathal and sprinkle some golden fried onions, mint leaves, coriander leaves and saffron soaked milk.
Spread rest of the cooked rice and top it with the remaining golden fried onions, mint and coriander leaves and saffron soaked milk.
Cover the pan tightly and cook on low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Switch off the heat and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
Mix gently and serve hot with Raita of your choice. Enjoy 🙂
Care should be exercised to use raw jackfruit. Look for a medium sized Jackfruit as it will have decent sized seeds too.
Biryani is best made on low medium cooking.
The real flavour comes when the rice gets cooked with steam in covered pot / pan. So make sure you do not loose out on that steam. You can use wheat dough to seal the lid to the pan.