Jackfruit Curry – Vegetarian Curry Recipe

Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit Curry is a new discovery for me. I first tasted Jackfruit on a trip to Maui, Hawaii.

Jackfruit Curry

When we visit Maui, we shop at a favourite market for fresh produce, where we love discovering new local treats. The lovely family who operates the market is really helpful, explaining what things are and even cutting and offering us tastes, along with advice on cooking and serving. Besides ripe jackfruit, we tried cherimoya, breadfruit, eggfruit, strawberry guava, and many other fresh and local delights. And of course, we feasted on pineapple, papaya, mango, and tiny, sweet bananas every day.

What is Jackfruit?

But back to the jackfruit. These babies are huge, (can grow up to 100 pounds) melon-shaped fruit with spikes.  It is, in fact, the largest tree fruit in the world. Jackfruit is very high in fiber as well as nutrients. When ripe, the fruit has a sweet, creamy, banana pineapple-like flavour. It’s delicious on its own or in ice cream and other sweet treats. I had the sweet, ripe fruit in Hawaii. Unripe also called young, or green, jackfruit is used in savoury dishes.

Jackfruit; The Perfect Sub for Meat in Vegetarian Dishes

But then I was in an Indonesian restaurant and what did I see on the menu, but a jackfruit curry. I had to order it and it was delicious. While eating, I analyzed the flavours so that I could try it at home. This versatile fruit has been trending lately as a meat substitute because the unripe fruit has a texture similar to meat or poultry. It also has a neutral taste that will take on the flavour of what you cook it with, like this curry.

Fresh Jackfruit vs Canned Jackfruit

I’m using canned young jackfruit in brine. It is easy to find in any Asian grocery, and even in the ethnic food section in a regular grocery. If you can find a fresh, unripe whole fruit, you could make a curry with that, but why would you? Unless you are planning to feed an army, have a whole lot of time and patience, and don’t mind an incredible mess. If that is your situation, go for it. I’m using the canned stuff.

Jackfruit Curry

Regional Jackfruit Dishes

Jackfruit is native to Southeast Asia, and there are many versions of it in a curry. It’s a common dish in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore,  Malaysia, and many other South Asian countries. This recipe is just my own, without any regional slant, and you can tweak the seasonings however you like. I used macadamia nuts because this fruit reminds me of Hawaii, but cashews or peanuts work, too. Nuts are great for adding some protein, but leave them out if you have allergies, of course.

Love curries? Then you might also want to try these delicious ones, too: Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry, or Roasted Cauliflower Red Lentil Curry.

Get more information about versatile, funny looking jackfruit What the Heck is a Jackfruit: A Look Inside this Funky Fruit.

Jackfruit Curry

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4.34 from 9 votes

Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit is a healthy alternative for meat in savory dishes, like in this delicious Jackfruit Curry, simmered in coconut milk, ginger, chiles, and spices. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: South Asian, Vegetarian
Keyword: coconut milk, green jackfruit, jackfruit
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 189kcal
Author: Colleen

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bird's eye or Thai chile seeded (or sub 1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes)*
  • 2 tbsp dried turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seed
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp dried lemongrass
  • 1 can light coconut milk 398 ml
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 can green jackfruit in brine drained (550 ml) & rinsed well
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp fish sauce omit for a vegan dish
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves*
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 cup roasted macadamia nuts*

Instructions

  • In a grinder or food processor, put ginger, garlic, chilli, turmeric, mustard seed, fenugreek, fennel, lemongrass, and salt.
  • Process until a paste is formed.
  • In a large saucepan, heat coconut oil over medium-high.
  • Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes
  • Add spice paste cooking and stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes
  • Add coconut milk, vegetable stock, jackfruit, bay leaves, and fish sauce, bringing to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes.
  • Stir in lime juice, basil leaves, and cilantro/parsley
  • Taste and add more salt if needed (this will depend on if you used fish sauce)
  • Remove from heat and stir in nuts.
  • Serve with basmati or jasmine rice.

Notes

*Thai chilies are quite hot, use caution when working with them. (gloves are a good idea) One seeded chili gives a fairly subtle heat, adjust according to your heat tolerance level.
*If you can't find Thai basil, any basil works just as well.
*You can substitute cashews or peanuts for the macadamia nuts, or leave out the nuts altogether.
* While simmering, the curry will reduce and thicken, If you like it saucy, add more vegetable stock.
Fish sauces can vary greatly in how salty they are. Start with 1/4 tsp, taste and add more if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 6.5mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2.7mg

 

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25 thoughts on “Jackfruit Curry – Vegetarian Curry Recipe

  1. Hi,
    Will it be ok to leave out veges stock? Also replace bay leaves with curry leaves instead? I know they don’t taste the same. Its just that we have a few tress of curry leaves so I feel its a waste to buy bay leaves just for this recipe. Thanx.

    1. Hi Shamani, I think it would be fine to make those changes. Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly the same, it will still be delicious, I’m sure!

  2. This was absolutely stunning. I didn’t have fennel so substituted for cumin and couldn’t get my hands on dried lemongrass so let it out. Absolutely LOVED this recipe, very easy and so tasty. Will be making again next week! Thank you πŸ™‚

    1. Joelle, I’m so happy that you loved this recipe. It’s for sure a favorite at my house, and even with your subs, I love that it was a winner for you. Thanks for coming back to comment, and keep on cooking!

  3. I tried Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice TV dinner by Trader Joe’s, I really liked the taste but it was very spicy for me. So, I looked on the internet I found your recipes, I like to give it a try by scratch or close to it, this way I would have full control over how hot I’d like it. I could not find Fenugreek seed, or can of green jackfruit?? The rest I can find in my regular grocery store. Can you direct me to a store who carries these item??

  4. where can I buy Jackfruit, Fenugreek seed and Thai basil leaves, the other items are in my regular store but not these 3???

    1. Hi Aleeta, I buy canned Jackfruit in the Asian section of my regular store, and fenugreek seed in the Indian section. If you can’t find fenugreek seed, you can substitute an equal amount of mustard seed. Thai basil is not always easy to find, but regular basil works just as well. Good luck, I think you will love this curry!

  5. Pingback: Jackfruit - the trendy vegetarian meat replacement • Katie's Tropical Kitchen
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  10. Yes! We love exploring new foods while traveling as well. Your list of fruits brings me back to Colombia where we had a similar feast. This jackfruit curry sounds great. I’ve tried jackfruit in many ways but not curry. πŸ™‚

  11. I’ve been experimenting with green jackfruit lately myself and I’m really enjoying. It’s easy to work with and, as you mention, kind of a sponge for flavours. I love the rich coconut-based curry idea that you’re working with here, and I’m sure the dish was amazing! The macadamias are a nice touch too, especially to tie in your Hawaiian experiences. Great stuff πŸ™‚

  12. I’ve been seeing a plethora of jackfruit recipes floating around lately and yours is the one made up my mind to try it! I’ve never worked with jackfruit before but I love your idea of canned jackfruit as my first introduction. It looks like such an interesting texture and I’m always up for playing around with new, plant based ingredients. It looks especially scrumptious in this curry!

    Have a great weekend, Colleen!

    1. Thanks, Justine. I’m quite intimidated by trying to cut open and process a fresh jackfruit, but maybe one day πŸ™‚ The can was a good intro for me, too.

  13. I’ve never tried jackfruit before but I’ve seen it pop up more and more and am intrigued! I had no idea you could find it in a can, but I wonder if it tastes different that way? It kind of makes me think of artichoke hearts in a jar, but I’m assuming it doesn’t taste like that? lol Curries are so delicious, it’s a great idea to mix it in. I’ll go spending some time in Bali soon, so I might have a chance to try it out sooner than later! πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Gabby! I’ve only had it fresh in the ripened version, so I don’t know if the unripened fruit is different in a can, but it still was delish! Lucky you, going to Bali. You will, for sure, be able to try Jackfruit (Nangka), there. Enjoy!

  14. This sounds tasty AF! I tried jackfruit for the first time in a chili some time before Christmas and it was awesome. I’m really looking forward to playing around with it more this year. I’ll definitely have to bring it to a curry dish at some point! Thanks for the inspo β€” gorgeous dish.

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