Enchor Chingri, Cholar Dal Die (Raw Jackfruit and Shrimp curry)

11:15 AM

I think good stylised food photography is not for me. I envy all those who so effortlessly (at least it seems so, kinda carefully careless) takes such good pictures. Though am not crazy about food photography and my style is quite homey and casual but Photography is an art and like any other artistic expressions, this fascinates me. I agree that I don't put much effort with props selection or light settings and I do not even have a proper place or table to take pictures. Every time I want to click I have to lug a folding table to the spot, take out crockery from the cupboard, iron the table cloth which remains squeezed between a truck load of baby clothes, and most frustratingly everything has to be finished while the baby naps i.e. within an hour. One of my most cherished dream is to have a sunlit house with a cupboard only for my blog and a table permanently placed in a sun drenched corner. Sigh!

For this post I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone. So, once the men of the house were off for their school and office I started prepping for the dish. (Here I must admit that I don't cook specific recipes to make my space pretty. Rather most of the recipes that I feature here are the  dishes that we eat on normal basis). While chopping the onions, steaming the raw jackfruit I kept on thinking how to do it differently this time. A Bengali dish will look good on a suzani background and instead of placing it underneath the bowl I can hang it as a background, was the thought that I finalised upon. Once the dish was done I hung it with quite some balancing act to get the desired effect and then I realized the sky suddenly is changing colour. Within minutes it was dark and shady. I tried hard with my little knowledge of DSLR (basic one with the built in lens) to come to a proper setting but it was disastrous. 

Cut 2, another day in the week that followed by. Again prepared the dish but this time son declared amio ei tortakrita khabo, tumi akdom lanka debe na (I will also eat this dish, don’t add any chilli powder). But without chilies how could I get a good colour??? Anyways tried taking picture with almost the same settings and again failed miserably which you can see in the pictures with green background.

I think I should stop trying now. Guess by rejecting my pictures out right and center foodgawker is also sending me the message not to try again!!!! Right now I have turned green with jealousy and I envy all those who almost has a website on food gawker or on any other food photography sites. While I sulk some more you check the recipe. With the lousy pictures, You have to trust me on this that this is an excellent curry (don’t go by the look please). 

In Bengal raw jackfruit is known as gach pantha or vegetarian meat and is cooked in the same manner as goat meat. This could be cooked in many combinations. In my family sometimes shirmps are added while to make it vegetarian we use chana dal(Bengal gram). I prefer to add both for more flavour. The plain one with some related stories I had posted in my initial days of blogging, which could be found HERE. But cant help but to mention that the jackfruit leaves are used to make flower ornaments and rakhis. I always make flower rakhis for my brothers, and here is a small sample of that.

Enchor chingri
(serves 6)

Raw jackfruit: peeled, cleaned and cut in big chunks (ask your vegetable vendor to clean this as its quite labor some and messy job): 3 cups
Bengal gram: 3 tbsp
Onion paste: ½ cup
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Tomato: 1 big
Chili powder: 2 tsp
Garam masala powder: ½ tsp
Oil: 4 tbsp
Turmeric powder

For tempering
Black pepper: 7-8 pieces
Cloves: 2-3 pieces
Cinnamon: 2 small sticks
Bay leaf: 2 pieces

I am not explaining here how to peel, cut and clean raw jackfruit. But if you want to try this at home peel the thick skin till no trace of green colour is there. Discard the fibres and the pithy core.  Cut in chunks or in cubes. When cut raw jackfruit releases a gummy latex which is very sticky. Rubbing any oil to the knife and also in the palm helps.

Soak the Bengal gram for 30 minutes then boil along with the jackfruit pieces in salted water for 10 minutes or till a knife inserted in the chunks passes through without much effort. Drain and keep aside.

While the jackfruit is boiling peel and cut the potatoes in big chunky pieces. I generally cut a medium size potato in 8 pieces. Keep aside.

Wash and mix the shrimps with little salt and turmeric. Keep aside.

Heat 1 tsp oil and fry the shrimps till they ruen plae pink in color (approx. a minute). Drain and keep aside.

Pour the rest of the oil and fry the potatoes for a couple of minutes and take out.

In the same oil crackle the ingredients listed under tempering and then add the onion paste. Fry on medium till oil starts to separate. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes. Mix in chopped tomato and cook till the tomato is mushy and again oil start to ooze out. Now mix in the boiled jackfruit pieces. Add salt, turmeric, potatoes, red chili powder and mix. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes. Stir in between.

Now add the fried shrimps and 11/2 cups of water. Cover and let it cook till the potatoes are cooked and the jackfruit soaks in the spices. The final dish should have coating gravy. Check seasoning and sprinkle some garam masala powder.

Serve hot with steamed white rice.

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  1. wow very nice recipe...n nice clicks too..

  2. Omg, never tried raw jackfruit in my cooking, curry looks fabulous and inviting.

  3. at least to my eyes you are a good photographer..

  4. Enchor is my fav veg.Aami usually mangshor mothon cook kori ,. but never tried with chingri maach.Eta try korteyee hobe.Btw , I am a reader of your blog and trust me that food photography you do leaves me hungry like crazy..I can literally taste the food seeing the pics...its that awesome :)

  5. U know what - i guess none have a permanent table fixed or studio for photography unless they are food styling professional :)
    I usually use a chair/folding table -lay my background (wood/paper/cloth)- props are most of the time white (personally feel the food is well captured)- lighting a huge factor- U got to know exactly (the sun movement near the window or door)- If ur camera allows to take RAW mode try it. U can really play around the lighting/color without degrading the quality of ur picture.
    Little patience we come up with a decent pict.
    I always like ur pictures- they have the casual styling with minimum distraction.
    Hope I haven't taken much comment space :)

  6. Forgot to mention: Like the combo something new but equally delicious i guess!

  7. delicious and new to me .Awesome clicks dear.

  8. Thanks everyone....
    @Cham,thanks for your comment. I want to click on raw mode but no most of the editing sites dont support raw images from my camera. though most of us don't have such permanent place but I keep reading at many blogs (am talking about Indian bloggers only) that they have their own set up for food photography.

  9. lovely combination curry looks wonderful

  10. I like tender jackdruit, we make stir fry with them. this curry looks delicious. your clicks are always nice.

  11. Sayantani, dear you are just like me. I use a point and shoot digicam and I hate flash so all the click are in morning light, its my fave time to click. So no worries you have company :) We will learn together.

  12. BTW. I liked your compositions. You are an artist in your own right. I can't even keep my hand stable and you are the famed Naksha bori and gulab bagh specialist, that I adore.

  13. i love your pics!!!!super recipe

  14. wow delicious combo...luks very tempting.

  15. I like that 'carefully careless' term :) I like your pictures, they are very homely and real ! It is a long time dream to get my pictures right, anyway, all I can do it strive towards it, but I am terribly impatient when it comes to taking pictures :(
    Didn't know Bengalis used raw jackfruit, its a favourite with Mangaloreans !!

  16. U r doing just great on the photography part. We all go through the learning curve. When I go back to my earlier posts I wonder how I could post those ugly looking pics :)
    You are an artist .....so cherish that quality. Luv the flower rakhi that you made. It's the most beautiful one I have seen.
    Keep smiling .....

  17. @Arch, somehow I feel food styling should tell a story. I know am far away from being good photographer but like to add props and dishes that goes well with the dish. good to know some of you like it.
    between Bengalis are crazy about raw jackfruit. come summer this veggie is cooked almost every week in our house.

    @Satrupa, your clicks and ugly??? they are gorgeous girl. your space is something I love to go again and again for some delicious eye candy.

  18. Lovely combo and beautiful click too:)

  19. Really yummy combo,can imagine the taste and flavor..

  20. Love the dish and I think the pix are great too!! We have all been thru and going thru this phase of learning how to use a camera the way it shld be - I don't think most of us have a dedicated spot, learning the language of light - I don't know that's what the experts say!! As long as u enjoy what u do!!

    Btw thanks for stopping by - It wld be nice of u leave a link to your apple tea at my blog - linky frog at the end of the post and follow instructions !

  21. Chobi ta kintu khub sundor hoyeche. Amio enchor-chingri ta beshi kori besh bhalo laage.

  22. You must be kidding,you are one of those who takes really nice pictures. These pictures are gorgeous !

  23. I love the way you take pictures....sure yours is better than mine. I am learner for a long time:) Curry looks tongue-tickling!

  24. Curry looks so delicious n wonderful combo.

  25. Sayantani, U just wrote my mind here....everytime I post anything same thing goes in my mind.....but let me make it clear....I like your photographs and simply love the homey recipes, that makes visit to your blog more comfortable...knowing that if we want we can do these recipes in our kitchen...but yes some of the food blogs do make me think will I be EVER able to take anything close to those kinda pic.... :) but as for now I know if I'm able to take a click without getting my 3 yr. old's hand in the pic it's a big acheivement :)

    Other day I saw fresh Jackfruit in the grocery store but did not picked it as I knew it's gonna be busy week.....& in no mood of cleaning......love the bengali version of it....

  26. Sayantani, U just wrote my mind here....everytime I post anything same thing goes in my mind.....but let me make it clear....I like your photographs and simply love the homey recipes, that makes visit to your blog more comfortable...knowing that if we want we can do these recipes in our kitchen...but yes some of the food blogs do make me think will I be EVER able to take anything close to those kinda pic.... :) but as for now I know if I'm able to take a click without getting my 3 yr. old's hand in the pic it's a big acheivement :)

    Other day I saw fresh Jackfruit in the grocery store but did not picked it as I knew it's gonna be busy week.....& in no mood of cleaning......love the bengali version of it....

  27. I have always loved your pics. Being an artist I am sure you want much more from a picture.
    I will not comment on the vegetable as I love raw jackfruit and prawns but since I do not cook both I am not the correct person to say anything. But by the looks of it will love it.

  28. Dear Sayantani,

    The most awaited Roundup and the announcement of "Hall of Fame" members of Healthy Morsels is now online !
    Please accept our sincere and heartfelt thanks by collecting your badge from any of our blogs :)


    Your Healthy Morsels Team !

  29. Echor chingri ta dekhei jibe jol ese jachhe. Darun hoyechhe. Beautiful pictures and lovely presentation also.

    Cuisine Delights
    My Monthly Event - Spotlight : "Healthy Breakfast Ideas".

  30. Brilliant stuff!

  31. hey satantani..i just love your photographs..they have a nice rustic bengali(or rather handicrafty) feel in them..
    me too struggle a lot with kiddo all over the place! most of my craft click are done in the garden, i feel it comes out better there...but food..i cant take it out and click!!! ha ha

  32. Picture niye eto keno bhabho..I love the homely touch of your every picture, naholey nijosho ta ki roilo..r food styling etc bishoye ami kicho hi bojhi na amaar jono "less is more"..enchor chingri onek kom banayi ami..tobe cholar dal ta di na.protek ta chobi bhalo lagche..ja bainiyecho tai ache ( amaar mone hoye eyi ta hi hoba uchit O )..personally I feel if one use photo enhance softwares, then many a times, they dont give exact image of a cooked recipe..onek samay beshi laalche bhabh hoye gravy te kinto recipe te oto ta lonka deba hoye na. to eyi baar bolo konta ke lokera bishash korbe - "chobi na recipe?.hugs and smiles

  33. Such a beautiful photography, and the recipe looks tasty too!

  34. My Mom makes raw jackfruit sabji too, different spice-mix though! Your post looks good, I will try your recipe some time!

    Thanks for dropping by my kitchen :)


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