Jackfruit Biryani in Pressure Cooker | Vegan

Jackfruit Biryani Recipe
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Did you know  that  jackfruit, the largest fruit from a  tree,   belongs in the  same  family as  figs ?  Well I did not.   Figs have thin  edible skin and fits in the palm  of  your  hand  while  jackfruit  is usually as  heavy as  toddler and  has spiky   thick  skin.  Both  have  large  fan  following, and  I for one happen to like   both , same  family or  not !

Jackfruit Biryani Recipe
Jackfruit is native  to India  and   Srilanka.   As  many other  tropical  trees  it  grows  very tall   easily reaching  60 to 80  feet.   It is very popular in the southern  Indian states,  especially   so in Kerala and Tamilnadu.  We  call it chakka  in Kerala, and  pretty much  every  family  had  access  to  one  jack  tree  and  its  fruits.  The  fruits could weigh upwards of   40lbs.   Harvesting the  ripe  fruit   from tall trees  unharmed, was a  feat  to be  accomplished.

The  mature  but  not  yet  sweet   jackfruit  petals are perfect  fried  and  the  ripe  fruit   is  usually eaten  raw  or  used to make preserves and  sweets. The   tender   jackfruit   has  meaty texture  and   can  be  used  in a   variety of   dishes  as  meat  substitute. Substitute  it  for  the  meat in a  spicy curries  like  my Varutharacha  chicken Curry or  in  meat  cutlets  or  as in  this  instance a  meat  alternative  in  biryani.

 

In case  you didn’t  know biryani is  a   one  pot  dish    with  layers  of  rice  and  meat (or  vegetables)  baked  to perfection. The  traditional method of  making  biryani is  elaborate  and takes a  lot  of  time.  By  using  a pressure  cooker, electric or  stove top,  the cooking  time  is  dramatically reduced,  plus  everything  happens  in  just  one  pot .

 

Jackfruit Biryani Fried Onions Part of  the  exotic  flavors  of  a biryani comes    from the   fried  onions, fruits  and  nuts.  Some of  this  is  used  between the layers  while  the  rest  is  used  to garnish.  I can  not  imagine  making  biryani  without  these, but   feel  free  to  reduce the  amount  or  skip  these altogether.

About  frying  onions  – it is  not  fun.   The onions tend  to  absorb oil  and  frankly it  is  an extra  step that  takes  up time.  A  trick I use  is  to  dry them a  little  first.  Slice  the onions  as  the  first  step of  the prep work. Spread  on a  sheet pan.  Place the  pan in the oven  and set  the  oven to 200° F  and  let  it  stay for  about  20 minutes  while  you  continue  with the   rest  of  the prep work.   Alternately  on a  hot  day, leave  the  sheet pan out  in the  sun (under a  net of course).   A  little  bit  of   drying  definitely saves   time  and  reduces the  amount  of  oil needed.  The  fried  onions  can be  refrigerated  or  frozen as  well.

A   word  of  caution if  using fresh jackfruit– the  milky sap  of  the  fruit  is  very sticky. Apply oil liberally on the  hands  and  the  knife    to prevent  it from  sticking  everywhere.  Cut off  the   green  skin and  slice  the   white  flesh into about 2 ”  pieces. Boil the pieces in  salted  water  for  a  few minutes  until  it is partially cooked  and reserve.  As  far as  the  canned  version  goes  just  drain and  rinse  under  water  before using.

Here it  is  on pictures ..
Making Jackfruit Biryani

Some  cooks  fry the  jackfruit  chunks  before  adding  to the   dish,   but  I find  that lightly crushing the  pieces  before  marinating in spices  is   more  than  enough to enhance  the  taste and  texture.  10 minutes or  so of  marinating  is  more than  enough to  bring  out  the  flavors.

Vegan Jackfruit Biriyani
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
An easy vegan one pot meal in under an hour.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Syama
Ingredients
  • Basmati Rice - 2 C
  • Raw Jack Fruit Blanched - 1 Can See Notes
To marinate
  • Garam Masala - 1 Tbsp
  • Chili Powder - 1 Tsp To Taste
  • Turmeric - 1/2 Tsp
  • Salt - 1 Tsp
  • Ginger - 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
  • Oil - 1 Tbsp
Whole Spices
  • Cinnamon Stick - 4 Inch Piece
  • Javerti Mace - 1 piece
  • Bay Leaf - 2
  • Cloves - 8
  • Green Cardamom - 4
  • Black Cardamom - 1
  • Fennel - 1 Tsp
To Grind
  • Raw Cashews - 1/4 C
  • Coconut Cream - 1/4 C
  • Water - 1 C
To Fry
  • Cashew nuts - 2 Tbsp
  • Raisins - 2 Tbsp
  • Oil - 1/4 C As Needed
  • Sliced Onions - 1/4 C
Other Ingredients
  • Onion - 1 Medium
  • Garlic - 4 Cloves
  • Ginger - 1" piece
  • Hot water - 2 1/2 C
  • Coriander leaves - 1/2 C lightly packed
  • Mint Leaves - 1/2 C Lightly Packed
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice the onions and place in a 200° F oven for 10 to 20 minutes (optional) while the rest of the ingredients are getting ready.
  2. Rinse the rice under colder water and soak in plenty of water. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the Jack fruit pieces from the can and rinse under cold water. Crush the pieces lightly using the back of a kitchen knife or pestle. Mix all the ingredients for the jack fruit marinate together into a paste. Apply the marinate on the jack fruit pieces and set aside.
  4. Grind the cashew nuts along with the coconut cream to a smooth paste. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water from the reserved water if needed. Mix the paste with the remaining water and set aside.
  5. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in the pressure cooker. Fry the cashewnut halves until brown. Drain and set aside. Add the raisins to the oil and fry till it plumps up . Drain and set aside.
  6. Fry a handful of onions till golden brown . Drain and set aside.
  7. Add 1 to 2 tbsp more oil to the pan if needed. Add the whole spices , crushed ginger and garlic and the remaining onions to the hot oil. Cook for a minute and add the marinated jack fruit pieces. Increase the heat and let it cook for a minute till the piece begin to turn light brown. Add the cashew nut paste. Stir well.
  8. Drain the rice.
Layer the Biriyani
  1. Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves. Add half the fried onions , cashew nuts and raisins on top.
  2. Scatter the drained rice on top. Level the rice using the back of a spoon.
  3. Pour hot water on top. Taste the water and adjust salt - it should be very lightly salted.
  4. Place the lid on and cook for 1 whistle (Rice Setting).
  5. Let the pressure release naturally .
  6. Uncover , mix lightly , transfer to a serving plate , garnish with the remaining fried onions , nuts and raisins and serve !

 

Jackfruit Biryani

Usually  biryanis  in Kerala  are served with  raita ( salad vegetables  mixed  with yogurt and  herbs herbs), a  spicy  pickles  and a  few crunchy pappadams.

If  you are not a  fan a  pressure  cooker – here is  the  standard  version.  Cook the  jack  fruit as  in the  recipe in a  thick bottomed  pan.  Cook the rice about  half  way through in plenty of  water  with the  whole  spices.  Drain and  layer  as  in the  recipe.  Do not  add  any more  water. Cover  and  bake  in a  350°F  (175°C) oven for  30  minutes.

If  stove top method is  preferred,  use a  thick bottomed  pan  with   sturdy lid.  After  layering  the   rice, cover tightly so  that  no steam escapes. Place  the  pan on  low  heat  and  cook for  20 to 30 minutes.  If possible  place a  heat  source on the lid like a heated  griddle or  few  hot  coals in a bowl.

Here are  a  few  other biryanis  to try –  Green Chicken BiryaniChickpea Biryaniand  the Hydrabadi Vegetable Biryani

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Jackfruit Biryani


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