Jackfruit seed podimas

Waste not want not was a way of life in my grandmother’s time. My mother also followed the same dictum. The hard skin of many vegetables like pumpkin or ridge gourd which would normally be thrown away would be made into a chutney. The same with the stringy inner part with seeds of the pumpkin which would metamorphose into delicious tuvaiyal in my mother’s hands. The different parts of the jackfruit would be cooked in different ways too.

The jackfruit is one of my favourite fruits. When ripe, it has the most amazing taste. Raw, tender jackfruit can be cooked many ways too but it is the seed that is really versatile. It is packed with protein and loads of other nutrients like vitamin B and potassium. These seeds are rich in thiamin and riboflavin which help in turning the food you eat into energy and keep your eyes, skin and hair healthy. The seeds also provide small amounts of minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium.

Jackfruit seeds are eaten roasted like chestnuts or boiled like peanuts and used in sambar, koottu or podimas. Being brought up in various cities in North India I had never tasted any of these delicacies till I visited one of my cousins Ranga Rangaswamy in Kumbakonam one year. She had made this delicious jackfruit seed podimas that blew my mind. So I got this recipe from her, and now make this any opportunity I get.

Jackfruit seeds -20
Coconut (grated) – 1 cup
Green chillies – 2-3 (to taste)
Curry leaves 8-10 (chopped fine)
Ginger – 1 tsp (chopped fine)
Green coriander 1-2 sprigs (chopped fine)
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Juice of half a lemon
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Broken jackfruit seeds

Break the seeds with a hammer into 1-2 pieces and remove the hard papery skin around it. Cook in the pressure cooker with a little bit of water and then cut into very small pieces with a knife or grate them and set aside. It is easier to remove the skin if you break the seed before cooking.

Grind the coconut and green chillies with some water into a thick paste. In a kadai add the oil and pop the mustard seeds. Add asafoetida and urad dal and fry till golden brown. Then add the coconut chili paste and ginger and fry for a minute or so. Add the cooked jackfruit seeds and salt and cover with a lid keeping the flame low. If too dry, add some water and let it cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and add lemon juice and coriander.

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