Idi Chakkai is a comfort food for me, with pepper rasam and pain hot rice. Idi Chakkai feels wholesome, yet simple. It is made with young green jackfruit. My mom only made it a few times a year, around The Jackfruit Season, as it was labor-intensive to chop, clean and pound the green jackfruit.
(probably where the name of this dish comes from: Idi is to pound, and Chakkai is jackfruit => pounded jackfruit)
But now that canned young green jackfruit is readily available year-round, this recipe takes less than 10 minutes to put together, and uses just 4 ingredients in its simplest form - green jackfruit, coconut, chilies, salt.
Tempering is optional, and adds a nice touch to this simple dish.
Nendran Pazham is a variety of plantain/banana that happens to be my favorite. I haven't found it here yet. But, Burro Bananas, when ripe, get a similar texture, smell and color like nendran, even though they taste a little different and are much smaller in size compared to the nendrans I used to relish.
To add a simple dessert, boil the burro bananas (skin on), in some water mixed with brown sugar, till it is soft but not mushy; then, peel the cooked banana and enjoy as a dessert. This is basically the same procedure my mom used to cook nendran pazham and serve it up as snack or dessert for us when we were little.
2 cans young green jackfruit, (comes packed in water), drained
¼ cup dry grated coconut
1 jalapeño, chopped
salt to taste
6-8 curry leaves (optional)
tempering: 1 Tbsp canola oil, 1 tsp urad dal, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds
combine the young green jackfruit chunks and jalapeño in a blender or food processor and pulse a little - just to break them down a little, not too fine
tempering: heat oil in a pan, add the urad dal, when it turns golden brown add the mustard seeds and when they pop add the cumin seeds and let them plump up a little; turn down heat so as not to burn the urad dal; add the curry leaves
add the green jackfruit and jalapeño mixture, dry grated coconut, some salt to taste and stir well; cook over medium heat, stirring on and off till well-combined
Serve warm with simple roti, or, rice and pepper rasam.
Even though this dish leaves very little room for variations, this recipe here is just a tad different from the last time I made it about 3 months ago. This is my 'I' dish for Nupur's A to Z of Indian Vegetables event.
p.s: Following a note from Nupur, I just wanted to add that canned young green jackfruit I use is available at most Asian stores in my area - perhaps it is available in Indian stores as well, am not sure.