Thursday, January 10, 2013

Echorer Dalna or The Green Jackfruit Curry

Echore, otherwise known as the green jackfruit is widely used in Bengali recipes. This humble fruit is native to South and South East Asia and is known to have originated in coastal Karnataka and Maharashtra. Though jackfruit is extensively used in Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai and other Asian cuisines, it is extremely popular in Bengali dishes. Green jackfruit or the unripe fruit is called Echore in Bangla (Aechor) and is sometimes termed as “Gaach Pantha” (Vegetarian version of red meat). While Echore (Green Jackfruit) can be used to make curries, koftas, cutlets and a lot more, the ripened fruit popularly known as Kathal is equally tasty and is eaten as a fruit during summers.

Cooking Echore is not a rocket science however; one has to be skilled in order to cut the vegetable. Peeling the jackfruit is the most tedious task of all as the skin is not only hard but releases a resin like juice once cut. Hence, one should remember the following points before cutting the vegetable:
  1. Rub cooking oil generously on your hands.
  2. Peel the vegetable so as to remove the skin completely.
  3. Slit the vegetable horizontally and remove the middle portion properly.
  4. Once the vegetable has been cut, soak it in turmeric water for 15 to 20 minutes so that the resin can be washed off properly.
  5. You can also half boil it in a pressure cooker before you start cooking.
Echorer Dalna is one of the most common curries which is cooked in almost every Bengali household. I spotted a shopkeeper with a bunch of jackfruits in Mumbai and decided to buy one for myself. My husband was ecstatic after tasting this very traditional Bengali dish in the hustle-bustle of Mumbai. So here I would like to share the recipe with you and hope you would like it too…


Echore (Green jackfruit) 500 gms
1 large onion (Paste)
1 medium tomato (Make a puree out of it)
Ginger-garlic paste
2 green chillies
1 or 2 Bay leaves
Turmeric powder 1 ½ tsp
Cumin Powder 1 ½ tsp
Coriander Powder 1 ½ tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1 ½ tsp
Mustard Oil
Salt and sugar to taste
Garam Masala Powder and Ghee (Optional)
  • Once the jackfruit is chopped into square shaped pieces, wash it well in turmeric water.
  • Pour some oil in a heavy bottom pan or a Kadhai and heat it well. Now add the washed jackfruit pieces and fry it till most of the pieces turn light brown in colour. If you do not want to fry your jackfruit, you can half boil it in a pressure cooker before adding it to the masala.
  • Remove the jackfruit pieces from the flame and add some more mustard oil to it. Add bay leaves and a little sugar to the hot oil.
  • Now add onion, tomato and ginger garlic paste to the hot oil and stir well. Keep cooking it till the water evaporates.
  • Add Salt, Turmeric powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander powder and red chili powder one by one in the Kadhai and stir the whole masala well.
  • Keep cooking it till oil starts separating. At this point, add the fried/boiled jackfruit pieces and mix it well with the masala on high flame for 2 minutes.
  • Pour water as required for the gravy and cover cook until the jackfruit is tender.
  • Once done, sprinkle a little Garam masala powder and a spoon of ghee before removing from flame. 

  • Serve hot with rice or chapattis.

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