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.
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
black cardamom 2
green cardamom 2
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.
Remember to cook on low flame.
Cover again and cook for about 8-10 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?