Gulai Nangka Padang
This is a vegan recipe.
Jackfruit Curry is a specialty of the Padang area in West Sumatra. It's a vegan dish and I made it for my vegan daughter. Unfortunately, she didn't like it. My husband and I, however, were big fans. We didn't like the jackfruit itself, but the curry tasted authentic (similar to Thai curries, but less sweet) and, after adding some extra salt, the flavors were very balanced. Well, all flavors except for spicy - as written below this is a very mild curry. If you want it spicier, increase the galangal root at the Asian market near my house. It's a pungent but fresh tasting root from the same family as ginger. It's available on powder form via mail order, but it can be rather expensive. Still, it's a must to get the proper Indonesian flavors. The kaffir lime leaves are, I believe, what gives South East Asian curries their very characteristic, somewhat soapy flavor (and, I think, what my daughter didn't like). I wasn't able to find them at my local Asian markets or at any of the markets that delivered to my house, so I bought them off Facebook Marketplace from someone who has a tree in their backyard. The leaves can be kept in the fridge for up to a week and frozen afterwards. The tamarind paste I had at home, but I think it's commonly sold at Indian and Asian markets. It's there to provide acidity to the curry, If you don't have it, you can probably substitute with lime juice. As for the jackfruit, I got frozen cubes though they also come in cans.
- 2 shallots, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, halved
- 1" ginger root, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp grated galangal root or 1/2 tsp galangal powder
- 1 tsp sambal oelek or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cardamon powder
- 1 candlenut, 1 1/2 macademia nuts or 2 cashews
- pinch of anise seeds
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, white part only
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 kaffir lime leaves or zest of 1 lime
- 1 clove
- 2-3 cups cubed peeled/seeded jackfruit
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Put shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, sambal oelek, turmeric, cardamon, candlenut and anise seeds in a blender or food processor. Process until it becomes a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the spice paste, lemongrass, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves and clove. Saute, stirring frequently or until it becomes fragrant.
Add jackfruit to the pot. Stir fry until the jackfruit is coated and slightly soft. Add coconut milk, water, tamarind paste, salt, sugar and black pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to heat to medium-low. Cook until the jackfruit is soft, stirring occasionally. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve with rice.
Adapted from a recipe at Indonesian Cooking 101
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