Jamaican (Ital) Curried Jackfruit with Chickpeas

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I love so many different ethnic cuisines, especially those with rice and spice, that sometimes it’s hard for me to choose a favorite. However, if a genie told me I could have any one cuisine placed in front of me right now, it would take me no time to choose – Jamaican food. Jamaican food, and in particular, Ital food, is my absolute favorite cuisine. Jamaican cuisine has been influenced by many cultures including Spain, China, India, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, which means there are a large variety of ingredients, spices and flavors.

Many Jamaican dishes have meat or fish, but Ital cuisine is usually vegetarian or vegan. Developed by Rastafarians, Ital food is a natural way of cooking that tries to avoid processed food, additives, oil, salt and sugar. The word Ital comes from the English word “vital” with the initial syllable replaced by the letter “i” to signify unity with nature. While Ital food and recipes may vary greatly, the common goal is to increase “levity” or the life energy believed to be within all living beings. Therefore, food should be as natural and pure as possible. The decision to eat Ital food may be a spiritual one, a health-related one or one concerned with animals. Whatever the reasons, Ital food and Jamaican food in general are delicious. Since I no longer live near any Jamaican or Ital restaurants, I had to learn how to make my own Ital food.

I have previously made Jamaican Jerk “Chicken” and Jamaican Rice and Peas.

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Today I’m sharing my recipe for Jamaican Curried Jackfruit with Chickpeas. Honestly, I make this dish a lot and each time, I make it differently. Sometimes I use tofu, sometimes just veggies and which veggies I use depends upon what I have available. This time I wanted to use jackfruit because I love it so much.

Here on the blog, I’ve shared my recipes for my Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak and my Jackfruit Ropa Vieja.

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This Jamaican Curried Jackfruit with Chickpeas is spicy, savory and so delicious; the jackfruit’s slight sweet taste strikes the perfect balance.

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I don’t eat Jamaican food every night but I eat it often, and usually in some version of this dish. You can make it as hot as you like; leave out the chiles and use less red pepper flakes if you don’t want it too spicy. Enjoy!

Jamaican (Ital) Curried Jackfruit with Chickpeas

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GF, SF

For the jackfruit

2 cans jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed

2 tsp. arrowroot powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. ground allspice

2 Tbs. coconut oil

 

For the curry­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

2 Tbs. coconut oil

1 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 green chile, seeded and minced

4 red potatoes, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 Tbs. Jamaican curry powder

2 tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. ground allspice

½ tsp. red pepper flakes

½ tsp. kosher salt

3 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cups water

2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley

 

To make the jackfruit: After rinsing the jackfruit, pat it dry. Cut the jackfruit into bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl. Toss the pieces with the arrowroot powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, kosher salt, black pepper, and ground allspice. In a deep skillet or saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the jackfruit to the pan in a single layer. You may have to cook it in batches depending on the size of your pan. Allow the jackfruit to cook until it browns, about 6 minutes, before flipping. Flip the jackfruit and cook until browned and crisp on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the jackfruit to a bowl and set aside.

 To make the curry:  In the same skillet or saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. coconut oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, garlic and chile pepper until the onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and mix in the curry powder, dried thyme, ground allspice, red pepper flakes and kosher salt. Toss to coat the veggies with the spices and let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Add 2 – 3 cups of water; there should be enough to just cover the vegetables. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and the mixture has thickened. Mix the crispy jackfruit into the stew and warm through. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve while hot.

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The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it. 

Jamaican (Ital) Curried Jackfruit with Chickpeas
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Jamaican
 
Ingredients
  • For the jackfruit
  • 2 cans jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 Tbs. coconut
  • For the curry
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green chile, seeded and minced
  • 4 red potatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Jamaican curry powder
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
Instructions
  1. To make the jackfruit: After rinsing the jackfruit, pat it dry. Cut the jackfruit into bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl. Toss the pieces with the arrowroot powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, kosher salt, black pepper, and ground allspice. In a deep skillet or saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the jackfruit to the pan in a single layer. You may have to cook it in batches depending on the size of your pan. Allow the jackfruit to cook until it browns, about 6 minutes, before flipping. Flip the jackfruit and cook until browned and crisp on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the jackfruit to a bowl and set aside.
  2. To make the curry: In the same skillet or saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. coconut oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, garlic and chile pepper until the onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes and mix in the curry powder, dried thyme, ground allspice, red pepper flakes and kosher salt. Toss to coat the veggies with the spices and let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Add 2 - 3 cups of water; there should be enough to just cover the vegetables. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and the mixture has thickened. Mix the crispy jackfruit into the stew and warm through. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve while hot.

 

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5 Responses to Jamaican (Ital) Curried Jackfruit with Chickpeas

  1. Lorraine February 13, 2015 at 6:59 am #

    This dish is now part of my weekly diet, love it. Made slight changes to the ‘amounts’ of spices for preference but its delicious. I experimented today. I only use one can as I’m cooking only for one. I find one can is still to much more me so I only used half of can in the curry and the other half I used in another recipe. Mixing cultures. I coated the jackfruit in the seasoning and what was left over after frying I chopped up with some saurakraut and caraway seeds and used it as a filling for Pieorgies (GF). First time I have made Pieorgies and needed a filling, so I thought whay not. Got some spicy Jackfruit left, and as saurakraut is often used as a filling in this recipe I thought add them together. It was unusual but for my first attempt I was pretty happy. You can freeze them so I wiull use the rest of the spiced jackfruit and make a batch of Pieorgies for the freezer.

    • Rhea February 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

      That sounds delicious! xoxo

  2. Lorraine January 3, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    I really want to try this but the jackfruit is not readily available in brine where I live. I have seen it in syrup and I have also seen it in water which it states is unriped. Would any of these work if its going to be rinsed?
    Loz

    • Rhea January 6, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

      Hi Lorraine, jackfruit in syrup will be sweet. I’m not sure if the jackfruit in the syrup is ripened or not. Unripened jackfruit is savory-tasting and less sweet. It gets sweeter when it ripens. You could try rinsing it really well but I can’t guarantee it. You could try ordering cans online. They sell them at Vegan Essentials and VeganStore.com

      • Lorraine January 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

        Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I live in the UK so I am trying to find a supplier online in the Uk but not sourced one yet. Thanks for clarifying the difference, I think the green unriped in water is similar then to the jackfruit in brine the recipes states. A online Asian store I use sells it in water stating it is green, unripe.


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