This recipe is great for new vegetarians who are missing the meat – as the strands of cooked jackfruit resembles pulled pork in look and somewhat in texture too. The paprika and cumin brings out really nice smokey favors which works great as a contrast to the flavors of sour cream and lime juice that you add while putting the tacos together.
By Pallavi Gupta
Jackfruit is one of those exotic tropical fruits that only grows in specific parts of the world and is not too popular. Its available everywhere but grows only at a few regions. India is one of those places where it grows in abundance and infact is consumed differently in the north and the south region of the country. Before coming to Pondicherry I had eaten jackfruit as a vegetable in stews. It was the first time in Pondy that I ate it like a fruit and also saw ice creams being made with fresh jackfruit. It makes sense to eat it like a fruit since it IS a fruit…..but for some reason in north India its not allowed to ripen completely and is consumed while its still very tender and small in size. As a kid I remember eating rice preparations with it (one of my favorite).
The fruit is slightly messy and sticky and a bit of a challenge to cut. You need a big sharp knife and some oil to rub between your palms while handling it. You could also wear rubber gloves while cutting it. Do these two things and working with it will be a lot easier. The fruit is made of these fiber like strands, a bulbous fruit (which is very sweet if the jackfruit is ripe) and a seed inside the bulbous fruit. For this recipe you need the strands (eat the fruit and discard the seeds). Here is a video on how to cut a jackfruit.
This recipe is great for new vegetarians who are missing the meat – as the strands once cooked resembles pulled pork in look and somewhat in texture too. But otherwise too it is a very flavorful recipe which you should try atleast once. If living in a country where jackfruit is not easily available – try an Indian store or an Asian market in the months of summer to get your hands on it.
The paprika and cumin brings out really nice smokey favors which works great as a contrast to the flavors of sour cream and lime juice that you add while putting the tacos together. I used a simple homemade corn salsa in the tacos to enhance the flavor but feel free to use whatever toppings inspires and attracts you. Some sweet salsa would taste pretty great too…use queso sauce instead of sour cream or guacamole instead of corn salsa – you can get creative with the toppings.
Pallavi is a vegetarian globetrotter, who currently lives in the southern part of India. Past ten years of her life includes living in six cities in three different countries. It has added to her vast exposure of cuisines from different parts of the world which is now reflected in her cooking. She shares her knowledge of vegetarian and vegan recipe from around the world via her blog Veggie Zest. When not cooking or photographing, she does graphic design.