Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jackfruit Pit: Chakka Kottai Molagoottal

Jackfruit... evokes memories of idyllic childhood, gorging and groaning, waiting for the various forms in which this unique fruit can be consumed thanks to a mom who is a superb cook... it has always been one of my favorite fruits.

Savoring the local seasonal fruits was such a sweet childhood experience for me: Mango season, Jackfruit season, Seethapazham (Custard Apple) season, Chikku/Sapota season, Nagapazham season, Vilambazham season... had to get our fill else we have to wait a whole year before the season comes around and the fruit becomes available in plenty again.

Anyway, D had never beheld a whole jackfruit (chakkai) in its full glory, so, he bought one recently, and went through the process of cleaning it up and extracting the yellow-fleshed sweet fruit sections.

These delicious fruits have a hard pit (kottai), which are edible when cooked, and have a nutty flavor and a meaty potato-like texture that I have a weakness for. [Chakkai Kottai = Jackfruit Pit]. Because of its nutty flavor it is sometimes referred to as Jackfruit Nut or Jack Nut

Molagoottal is a rather mild south Indian dish which can be made with any seasonal vegetable and is a favorite alternative to the spicy curries, sambar and kozhambu. Molagoottal doesn't use any tamarind or spice powders like sambar, and has a delicate base of coconut, peppercorn and cumin. Vaazha Thandu (banana plant stem), white pumpkin or ash gourd, snake gourd, cabbage and carrots, as well as chakkai kottai all lend themselves to a delicious molagoottal which was my mom's specialty.

Molagoottal is usually served with rice and a pachadi. My preferred combination is chakkai kottai molagoottal with chutta kathrikkai pachadi (roasted/charred eggplant pachadi). I had harvested the last of the eggplants from our home-garden... skewered them and roasted them over open flame on my gas stove then followed the recipe as before.

Jackfruit Pits - as many as in picture, maybe more if available
½ cup carrots, chopped
1 cup cooked lentils (I use moong dal)
salt to taste

for the molagoottal base:
4 Tbsp dry grated coconut
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
3-6 dry red chilies (optional)
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorn

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds

garnish: curry leaves, cilantro

  1. Pressure cook the jackfruit pits (jackfruit nut, or jack nut) or cook on stovetop till tender but not mushy, like steamed or baked potato; remove the thick jacket/skin from the pits which easily come off when cooked well enough - this layer almost feels like plastic and is not quite edible - it is the pearly white layer seen in the jackfruit pits/nuts picture; the inner thin skin is a beautiful brown and the flesh is almost ivory white
  2. Combine the molagoottal base ingredients in a blender and grind to a smooth fine paste, adding water as needed
  3. In a pot, combine the carrots, cooked lentils and jack nut, molagoottal base paste, some water, salt, cover and simmer till flavors meld
  4. Tempering: heat the oil in a small pan, when close to smoking add the mustard seeds and let them pop, turn off heat so as not to burn them
  5. Top the molagoottal with these popped mustard seeds and garnish with curry leaves or cilantro

Labels: , , ,


  • At 1:32 AM, Blogger Priya said…

    Beautiful looking molagoottal..

  • At 1:54 AM, Blogger Akila said…

    wow lovely dish....

  • At 2:55 AM, Blogger Kay said…

    your molagoottal sounds so dreamy..... love those jackfruit seeds! I remember those days when dad used to bring home banrutti jackfruits and we went through the whole nine yards of cutting it and sitting patiently for those sweet cholais.

  • At 4:13 PM, Anonymous shwetha said…

    hey where are I get it around here ?

  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Priya, Akila, Thanks!

    Kay, I remember the sheets of newspaper spread out on the floor when the whole family, cousins and all, would sit with oiled hands and try to extract these well-parceled fruit :)

    Shweta: D got this from Uwajimaya I think

  • At 12:55 AM, Anonymous mitakapur said…

    For all the foodies out there, I request you to please let me post information about my book 'The F-Word' which is an experiential writing on food. I'd be grateful and look forward to your response.

    'The F-Word' is a madcap account of a working woman juggling family, friends, long distance phone calls and food. How do you serve a nutritious yet delicious meal to a large family of individuals of varying ages and with extreme differences in taste? What is the trick to adapting a great tasting but swimming-in-oil restaurant special so it keeps the punch and loses the grease? What does a woman do to keep them all - partner, children, in-laws, pals - healthy and happy without quietly going out of her mind? A culinary romp with unexpectedly tender moments interspersed with seriously good recipes to suit every taste.
    ‘The F-Word makes the entire experience of enjoying food incredibly sexy! Lip smackingly good. A literary “bhojan” to be enjoyed with friends, lovers, and yes... family, too!’ – Shobhaa Dé

    ‘A feisty, fun journey into food world. Staying Indian to the core, yet international in narrative, Kapur whips up culinary delights garnished with personal stories of joy…’ – Wendell Rodricks

    Mita Kapur is a freelance journalist regularly featured in many newspapers and magazines. She covers social and developmental issues along with travel, food and lifestyle humor stories. She is the founder and CEO of Siyahi, a literary consultancy where she doubles up as a literary agent along with conceptualizing and directing literary events.

    Thank you,
    Warm regards,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older