Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kathal ka dopyaza | an aromatic dry stew of raw jackfruit

Kathal is Jackfruit, a giant fruit that grows anywhere on the tree, even closer to the roots.The fruit is edible in all phases. The baby Jackfruits are prized for the meaty texture they have and are cooked like meat in UP homes. I have a recipe with pictures ready for that and hope I get to post it soon.

The medium and large sized ones are cooked in this kind of Kathal dopyaza. The ones with large seeds are always preferred for Kathal ka dopyaza as the seeds taste very good in this kind of spices and almost caramelised onions in the finished dopyaza.

This kind of curry is actually a dum cooked (cooked on low heat in a sealed pot) stir fry where the firm textured jack fruit pieces and onions get cooked in their own juices. The whole spices infuse their aroma in a very delicate manner. Some people prefer adding a few pieces of potatoes in it. I make it with just the Jackfruit which I prefer peeling and cutting myself.

It's always advisable to buy a piece of jackfruit with the skin attached, flesh milky white and a gummy white sap oozing.  It stays in the fridge for a couple of days and you are sure it has not been peeled and stored for long before being sold to you. Buying a whole jackfruit will always be good if you need that amount.

To make this dopyaza, peel the thorny skin, slice in rounds or wedges and remove the inner pith. Then cube the flesh and then remove the hard plastic like coat of the seeds as this part is not edible. The hard plastic like seed coat is formed only in mature jackfruits, the one I used was a medium sized fruit so the seeds are just half mature. No hard seed coat to be removed in this case.

(3-5 servings)

Jackfruit, peeled and cubed 250 gm
sliced onions 250 gm approximately
ginger julienne one heaped tbsp
garlic cloves sliced 1 tbsp
whole dry red chillies 2-4 as per taste
tejpatta 3-4
black cardamom 2
green cardamom 2
cloves 5-6
cinnamon stick 1 inch long broken
whole black peppercorns 2 tsp
cumin 2 tsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
mustard oil or ghee 2 tbsp


Normally in the authentic way, the dopyaza is cooked in a round bottom Haandi pan. I have one, but that is not used frequently and is stashed in some deep corner in my small much cluttered kitchen so I cooked it in a kadai. If you are also using a kadai, choose a lid that is smaller so it just covers the cooking vegetables and not fits the rim of the kadai. It keeps the steam inside to make a dum-cooking setting.

Heat the oil in the chosen (thick base) kadai and tip in all the whole spices and tejpatta in it. Let it all sizzle for just a second and add the red chillies and the ginger garlic slivers as well. Wait for them to cook for a minute and then add all the other chopped vegetables and turmeric powder, salt in one go. Mix well.

Now cover the cooking vegetables mix with a smaller lid as I suggested earlier. Keeping all the steam inside to cook the veggies almost without water.

Remember to cook on low flame.

Check the contents after 5-8 minutes, the onions and a few jackfruit cubes would have become brownish and might be sticking to the bottom. At this time you would be required to add about half a cup of water. Mix well.

Cover again and cook for about 8-10 minutes.

The end product looks like this, some sticky brown mass in the bottom of the kadai indicates the dopyaza has been caramelised well. Take care to prevent burning in the last few minutes.

Check the jackfruit pieces if cooked. They give in to pressure and get flat.

Serve hot or at room temperature. No garnish is required. Those cooked red chilies look good enough and may be the tejpatta too adds to the rustic charm.

This kathal ka dopyaza is normally served with chapatis, actually more preferably with plain thin flaky crisp parathas. You can serve it with any kind of thin flat bread. Or as a part of a formal extended menu.

The vegetable is meaty in texture and is much in demand when one needs a special meal for vegetarians. Paneer and mushrooms are other meat substitutes for vegetarians but if you consider the capability to absorb the spices, there is no match to Jackfruit.

I cooked this dopyaza after a couple of years I remember. The last time was when I cooked it for about 30 people when the whole family was together for a wedding.

No wonder this dopyaza is suitable for bulk cooking with wonderful results as it involves dum-cooking. Also the fact that there is not much preparation with spice powders and ginger garlic paste etc.

You might like to remove some of the whole spices before serving. Some people do not like the whole spices interrupting in between. They can give a bitter taste if chewed on accidentally. Just retain a few as garnish.

How many of you have had this UP style Kathal ka dopyaza?


  1. Absolutely love this, never tried it this way, though I make kathal masala sabzi. Will give it a try too.

  2. you got me at kathal!!! love raw kathal with a fearsome passion... as much as I detest the sickly sweet ones :p we make kathal in the south indian style mostly... but this I will surely try..yummazing.

  3. I am going on adding items to the meal I would one day have at your place. I should plan to come soon or at this rate, there would be so many dishes that I won't be able to eat it all :)

  4. Hi Sangeeta,
    Nice recipe.Can you tell me what kadai do you use.Aluminium?


    1. Thanks Vini.

      Good question regarding kadai. I used a thick aluminium kadai this time to illustrate the pictures better, especially the one where i have shown the dopyaza sticking a little to the kadai in the last. Normally I make it in an old fashioned cast Iron kadai which is available only in rural parts of India. A friend has gifted me two of them generously.
      This dopyaza can also be cooked in a pressure cooker, with the lid not fixed to form pressure. The lid in that case is just kept over the pan.

      All these three vessels are good for making this dopyaza or even other types of dopyaza as well.

      I hope you find it useful.

  5. Very nice dish sangeeta...I will try ...also checking if comment can be published from IE

  6. Never tried this before...Looks delicious.

  7. looking at the whole spices and the masala this looks like a delicious dish. i have never had the north indian kathal, but have had the south indian kathal dishes too many times.

    1. Jackfruit is not a frequent visitor to my kitchen so I am still to try some good SI recipes. I am looking for some online, please link a few if you have posted.

  8. hi sangeeta,
    Being a Manglorean...I love raw jackfruit, the best being fritters.
    Lovely detailed post as always, making do pyaza with kaathal seems really interesting, keep posting dear lovely to visit u

    1. I have tasted a jackfruit chips but not fritters. We make kathal ke kabab and cutlets. That will be posted sometime too.

  9. I loved the way you made this , But I have never tasted jack fruit so dont know .. I can instead use something else in its place with the same ingrediants ...


    1. You can make a chicken dopyaza the same way, using boneless chicken pieces.Less cooking time, very tasty.

  10. This looks awesome Sangeeta, I am used to the kathal sabzi, this is new and looks deliciuous :-)

  11. I am craving for some do pyaza now,urs looksmdelicious,..

  12. I love kathal and have missed eating it now for a long time. I love the way you have prepared it (dry with onions.Looks delicious.

  13. would love to try it... I have never had it, but it must be so YUM!

  14. Dear Sangeeta,just made the kathal ka dopayaza.It came out wonderful,but only if all the masala were grounded for my preference.I think amchoor & hing will add extra zest in this recipe.This is my first time making kathal ka dopayaza .Thank you for sharing those wonderful recipes.I'll be off to little India to search for handi soon;).

  15. Thanks for the recipe! I tried it today and it turned out to be an absolute hit :)
    Will try the Kathal Biryani recipe soon.


  16. Hi.. I made this today and it turned out to be very tasty. Thanks for the recipe !!

  17. Hi sangeeta.I love to read from your site as I get all north indian dishes on which I have grown up.I have made this dish many times and is delicious. Thanks