Raw Jackfruit Biryani : Kathal Biryani

Its hard to get raw jack fruit in winter, especially in eastern part of India. Jackfruit is known as summer fruit. My hubby and my mother in law are big fans of kathal, whenever we buy jack-fruit from market, we end up by making some regular dishes with it like jack-fruit curry, jack-fruit kofta, jack fruit tikki and jack fruit kalia.

But on  this new year we had some special guest with us, they demanded to eat some new dish with jackfruit. So I thought to make biryani.  Jackfruit biryani is  common in north India, I too made many times  last summer. So I got a very good chance to impress my guests. And when they had it, they said the dish was excellent.

And why not ,jackfruit biryani is a flavorful combination of Indian basmati rice, jackfruit and Indian spices. Its turns more delicious when it is cooked in dum.

Basically the  most difficult part is cutting jackfruit. Yes, its really a tuff task, but practice makes everything perfect. Jackfruit is very sticky. Make sure to oil it beforehand too, its really quite a pain getting rid of the stickiness once it grabs hold of your knife.

If you do get ooze on your hands, don’t worry – just put some oil on them and wash them in warm water, which will get it out in no time!

The only solution is oil, apply oil on your palms and knife. Then carefully cut the skin ,after that chop into pieces. Otherwise ask your vendor to wash and cut jackfruit.

INGREDIENTS FOR JACKFRUIT GRAVY :

  • Jackfruit (cut into cubes) – 2 cups
  • Onion – 3 large
  • Ginger garlic paste – 3-4 tbsp
  • Hung Curd – ½ cup
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Chopped green chillies – 2 tbsp
  • Mint leaves – ½ cup
  • Coriander leaves – ½ cup
  • *Biryani masala / garam masala – 2 tsp
  • Oil – as required

 

FOR RICE PREPARATION :

  • Basmati rice – 2 1/2 cups
  • Bay leaf – 1 no
  • Sahee jeera – ½ tsp
  • Peppercorn – 4 no
  • Cloves – 2
  • Cardamom – 2 no
  • Salt – to taste

Misc ingredients :

  • Kewra water – few drops
  • Kesar – few strands (soaked in warm milk)
  • Dough of whole wheat or all purpose flour

BIRYANI MASALA :

  • Cloves – 12 no
  • Cinnamon- 1” pc
  • Black cardamom – 1 big
  • Green Cardamom – 4 no
  • Black pepper – 1/4th tsp
  • White pepper – 1/4th tsp
  • Sahi jeera – 2 tbsp
  • Dagadphool – 2 tbsp
  • Star anise – 1 pc
  • Fennel seeds- ½ tsp
  • Mace – 2 pcs
  • Nutmeg – ¼ th tsp

METHOD OF PREPARATION :

  1. First pressure Cook the jackfruit pieces with 1/4th cup of water with  salt and turmeric.
  2. Cook in medium flame till one whistle comes.
  3. If the jackfruit is tender then bring one whistle on high flame.
  4. Strain and keep the jackfruit pieces aside.
  5. Dry roast the whole masalas written under biryani masala.
  6. Blend in a mixture grinder  and make fine powder.
  7. Or else you can use store brought biryani masala or fresh garam masala for better result.
  8. Finely chop the coriander leaves, mint leaves, and keep aside.
  9. Finely slice the onions.
  10. Heat enough oil in a wok , when oil turns smoking hot add sliced onion, and fry them till they turn brown, remove from oil and keep aside.
  11. In a mixing bowl take curd, chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder ,little salt, tea spoon of biryani masala, ginger garlic paste , 3/4th portion of brown onion, half of chopped green chillies, half of chopped mint leaves, half of chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  12. Add cooked jackfruit pieces in this mixture, give a nice mix. And keep it for 2 hours.
  13. Wash and Soak the basmati rice for 30 minutes.
  14. After 2 hours start cooking marinated jackfruit.
  15. Take a heavy base handi or biryani pot & heat 2-3 tbsp of oil.
  16. Add jackfruit pieces along with marinade.
  17. Fry in medium flame till the raw smell of masala goes & masala cooks well
  18. Simultaneously in a pot ,boil enough water to cook rice.
  19. Add enough salt till water taste like sea water.
  20. Add all the whole masalas and cover it.
  21. When water boils add the strained rice and boil it for 4-5 minutes, till the rice is 60% done.
  22. Strain the rice and reserve the water.
  23. Add this strained rice to the pot, in which the jackfruit is cooking.
  24. On the top of the rice sprinkle rest of the chopped mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves, chopped green chilli, kewra water and kesar soaked in warm milk.
  25. Sprinkle biryani masala on top and spread brown onions.
  26. Add half cup of water, retained from rice.
  27. Apply kneaded dough on the edges of the lid.
  28. Carefully place lid on the biryaani handi and  press it to seal the edges.
  29. Place an iron tawa on the base of biryani handi and cook on high flame for 3-4 minutes.
  30. Then reduce the flame to low and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  31. After cooking ,leave it for 10 minutes and cut the edges with a knife.
  32. Carefully open the lid and lost with the aroma.