I believe I've make it pretty darn clear how much I love Everest in St. Paul for their amazing Nepalese/Tibetan food, especially the okra and the jackfruit dishes. And since my trip to Dragon Star resulted in a can of jackfruit and some gorgeous okra, it decided to try my hand at combining my two favorite restaurant dishes into one, at home.
If you haven't used jackfruit before, don't be scared. It's a fruit, but lends itself very well to savory dishes because of its meaty texture. And the flavor is pretty much nonexistent. Be sure you pick up the variety canned in brine, though, not heavy syrup. That would not be good.
Now jackfruit has these little bean/seed things inside of it and those are perfectly fine to eat. But they kind of creep me out, so I remove them. They look like what I imagine ovaries look like. Do you agree?
Now for the okra- I think the best way to convert okra haters to okra lovers is through lots and lots of oil. This recipe doesn't call for deep-frying, but it does use more oil than I usually would both to get a semi-crispy texture in the okra and to carry the flavor from all the spices.
This all comes together with tons of spices and some home canned tomatoes. It was really easy and by the time the basmati rice was done cooking, so were the veggies.
Don't... don't you want this?
Jackfruit and Okra Curry
I served this up with a cumin papadum and some mango pickle. Fantastic!
2-3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 lb. of okra, trimmed and cut into large chunks
1 can jackfruit in brine, drained and cut into chunks
2 tsp. whole coriander, crushed lightly
1 tsp. cumin seed
3/4 tsp. ground fenugreek
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/8 tsp. asafoetida
1/2 tsp. amchur
2 cups canned whole tomatoes
Salt to taste
Crushed red chilies to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until oil ripples. Add the onion and okra. Stir frequently and cook (watch out for spattering oil!) until onions are translucent and everything is lightly browned. Add jackfruit and spices and continue to cook until fragrant (don't let those spices burn!). Add the tomatoes and lower heat to low. Simmer until the tomatoes have broken down into a sauce-like consistency and okra is tender. Add salt and chiles to taste. I think this tastes great with plenty of salt and chilies in it, but it's very flavorful even without. Serve with rice and garnish with a healthy handful of fresh cilantro.
This is the closest I've ever come to replicated the amazing flavors of Everest. But their's is still better.