11:17 AM

Enchor-er Tarkari (Raw Jackfruit Curry)

I like to cook with locally and seasonally available vegetables for which I prefer to visit the wholesale market near to our place. This market is known as Madiwala market and on weekends you will get very fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at a cheaper rate. The kind of shopaholic I am any trip that include buying and bargaining attracts me. This Sunday I found this amazingly tender Raw Jackfruit there. Raw jackfruit or Enchor is a very famous and popular dish in Bengal. This is a summer delicacy as these are available only during February-March. After that the fruits start to ripen and we get a different variety of Delicious fruit called Kanthal (jackfruit). Kanthal has a very strong smell for which I believe this is something of an acquired taste whereas Enchor is more easily acceptable as a vegetable.

Kanthal is somewhat laxative, so have to be eaten in moderation. In our house a plate of Kanthal is always accompanied by a cup of milk, as it helps in digesting the kanthal. After eating Kanthal we don’t throw away the seeds, these also are used as vegetable, not in itself but with other vegetables like in chachori (vegetable medleys) or mixed vegetables etc. Even dry roasted and de-skinned seeds taste like nuts.

Enchor is quite a vegetarian delight as cooked with onion and garlic it almost taste like dry goat meat dish that is why this vegetable is also known as ‘Gaach Pantha’ or Tree Goat. During any summer party or get together Enchorer er Tarkari is a must have dish.

A fruit laden Jackfruit tree in the summer looks quite impressive. The tree itself is huge and the fruits are borne allover the tree from the trunk to the brunches. In Santiniketan we used the leaves, which are very thick and leathery in texture to make flower ornaments for our functions. For that we used to cut the leaves in different shapes and then stitched Tagar kuri (Frangipani buds), button flower and Rangan (Ixora flower) to make various pattern. I am attaching a cropped version of my old photograph just to give you some idea. Please don’t mind the low resolution.

Enough discussion about Enchor, now its time for the recipe.
Enchor-er Tarkari


One small Enchor: cut in small pieces
Cutting Enchor could be a pain. First you need to discard the skin and the inner spine and then cut them in chunks. Rub your knife and hands with some mustard oil to avoid the accumulation of its copious gummy latex.
2 medium potatoes: cut in cubes
1 big tomato

For the Masala:
1 big onion paste
1 and ½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 and ½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
1 big bay leaf
1 piece cinnamon
1-teaspoon black pepper: coarsely ground
3 pieces cloves
Salt to taste
4-teaspoon oil

First boil the Enchor chunks in lightly salted water with ½ teaspoon turmeric until tender.

Heat 1-teaspoon oil in a kadhai and lightly fry the potatoes with salt till light brown in colour. Keep them aside.

Again heat 3-teaspoon oil and put the bay leaf, clove, Pepper and cinnamon. When they start to sputter add the onion paste, turmeric, salt and chili powder. Fry on a low heat. When the onion is half done add the ginger garlic paste and again fry on low flame till oil separates at the sides. Now put the chopped tomato, mix well and cover. After 5 minutes check if the tomato is cooked. Mix everything together with your spatula.

At this point add the boiled Enchor and potatoes. Give everything a good stir so that the veggies are coated with the fried spices. Cover and let it absorb the aroma for 2 minutes. Add hot water to it, check the seasoning, cover and let it cook till the Enchor is soft.

Once the water evaporates, sprinkle the garam masala powder and serve with steamed rice.

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  1. HI Sayantani,

    First time to your blog. Very nice Bengali recipes you got here, will pop in to see some exotic Bengali cooking from you. Will link you in my blog.

    We get Raw Jackruit in tin form, must try your recipe some time :-)


  2. Thanks for your Visit Rajani. We love Andhra cuisine definitely going to try some from your tresures too.

  3. Can I use frozen raw jackfruit? There are no fresh ones in this part of the world! (California)

  4. YEs Layla you can definitely use that but drain and juice and wash the fruit thoroughly.

  5. Hi Sayatani,
    I am a US-based food writer for several magazines. I will be writing a story on Indian cooking. I am looking for chefs interested in sharing their recipes. Would you like to be interviewed? Do you know any chefs in Kolkata, or 3 to 5 star restaurants that US and Australian business travelers would enjoy? I will be in Kolkata from June 11th through the 16th. My email is 4elyse@earthlink.net.

    Thank you--Elyse (I am a friend of Leyla and will be traveling with her)


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