Polos curry or polos ambula is a traditional Sri Lankan baby jackfruit curry.
This jackfruit curry is made using jackfruit which has not matured or ripened, at this stage of the jackfruit, the fruit is often referred as baby jackfruit or green jackfruit.
If you visit the island, this is one Sri Lankan vegan, vegetarian curry you don’t want to miss trying.
A unique Sri Lankan recipe that you’ll definitely fall in love with.
A traditional polos curry recipe you must try.
If you ask me, what are some of the best foods to try in Sri Lanka, I’ll point you to this slow-cooked baby jack fruit curry, especially if you are a vegan or vegetarian.
You’ll probably get the same answer from any Sri Lankan if you ask them to list their favourite food or what they miss most.
Polos curry or polos ambula is will be on top of their list of things they miss the most.
It’s a curry reminiscent of home and mama’s meals.
But there’s more than home-cooked food that makes this jackfruit curry(polos) so popular in Sri Lanka.
Part of the reason is when cooked with all the right spices and coconut milk, it is one of those curries that is an absolute joy to eat with a bowl of warm rice.
Tucking into polos curry will also give you an idea of what Sri Lankan food really is.
Spicy, a bit sour around the edges, loads of spices, makes you think of home and family and just brings a smile to your face.
What to serve with polos(baby jackfruit)curry.
- Serve with some home cooked regular white rice cooked over a stove top.
- Other side dishes to serve with polos ambula.
- Some fried curd chillies, poppadams, a few cleaned shallots can be added to the rice and curry meal.
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Frequently asked questions: polos curry recipe.
- Explain to me the difference between Jackfruit and green(baby or young) jackfruit.
- When we say jackfruit as in the jackfruit curry(kiri kos) recipe, I am referring to the jackfruit that is mature but not yet ripe.
- The seeds have formed and the color of the pods are almost white and firm.
- When the jackfruit reaches the ripening stage where natural sugar has formed then the fruit turns sweet which we don’t cook but eat as a fruit.
- This is the stage where the fruit takes on the color of orange.
- I see a lot of vegan recipes where ripe jackfruit is turned into some kind of dish, I simply can’t imagine the taste of these dishes, because at this stage the fruits dominant flavor is sweet.
- When I say, green/baby or even young jackfruit, I am referring to the fruit when it’s quite young, green, hard and small compared to the size the fruit becomes when it matures and turns ripe. the seeds have not formed.
- This is the baby/ green jackfruit, we are using to make Jack curry(the polos curry ).
- What does Sri Lankan jackfruit curry taste like?
- Once cooked, the jackfruit curry doesn’t taste like your regular vegetable at all and this is because of its meat-like texture.
- Why are you not using goraka for the jack curry?
- You can if you want to stick to the authentic version of the recipe but I find the tamarind juice gives adequate sourness to make the Jack curry(polos ambula). You can add a piece of goraka to the curry if you want to.
- I’m simply adding a substitute for readers who are not familiar with goraka and how we use it in Sri Lankan food.
- How can I turn the polos curry to a darker color which I am used to eating at home?
- This takes a longer cooking time.
- Turning the polos curry to a darker shade of brown can be done by continuing to slow cook the jackfruit curry from the time you add thin milk, in low heat for a few hours(maybe 1-2 or sometimes more).
- Can I use canned jackfruit?
- Yes, the canned versions can be so much easier.
- Where can I find canned jackfruit?
- If you are living overseas and since the baby jackfruit is popular as a plant-based protein option.
- Try on the vegan food section(if there is one)or on the Asian ingredient aisles.
- Try on the vegan food section(if there is one)or on the Asian ingredient aisles.
- Try Thai stores and Indian stores.
- Canned jackfruit can also be found on Amazon. here’s the link.
More jackfruit curry recipes
RECIPE DIFFICULTY-EXTRA CARE IS NEEDED
How to make baby jackfruit curry(polos curry)
The ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
The ingredients to cook baby jackfruit curry
500g young/green jackfruit, cleaned and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of chilli powder
2 tablespoons of roasted curry powder
1 teaspoon of pepper powder
4 tablespoon tamarind juice(soak tamarind pulp in 1/4 cup water for a few minutes)
3-4 tablespoons of oil
Ok, honestly, cleaning this baby was a real pain!
2-inch piece pandan leaf
A sprig of curry leaves
3 green chillies cut
1 large onion sliced fine
3 garlic cloves sliced fine or minced(1 tablespoon)
1-inch piece of ginger minced(1 tablespoon)
1-2 inch piece of cinnamon
4 pods of cardamoms slightly bruised
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 cup thin milk(if using coconut powder, add 1 tablespoon to 1/2 cup water, if using packaged thick coconut milk, 1/4 cup of thick milk to 1/2 cup of water)
1 cup thick milk(if using coconut powder, add 2-3 tablespoons to 1 cup of water)
How to clean Jackfruit(step-by-step guide).
You might notice that I’ve skipped some of the images but will be explaining to you as I describe the cleaning process.
I just couldn’t risk the white sap that oozes out of the fruit sticking to my camera lens.
So here we go, before you even begin cleaning the jackfruit, have the following things ready.
What you need to clean the jackfruit.
- have the garbage bin or your wastebasket ready on the side.
- Place a few newspapers or an old baking tray as I’ve used but I suggest newspaper because cleaning the tray is going to take you days once the white sap gets into it.
- Have some tissues ready to clean off the sap as it oozes and oil the knife(not the handle)well, I would also suggest using your oldest but sharpest knife.
- have a large pan filled with water with half a teaspoon of turmeric to keep the cut and cleaned jackfruit from discoloring.
Cleaning the green jackfruit
Cut the raw jackfruit in two.
As you cut, be prepared to wipe off the sap, try to do this as quickly as you can as every cut you make to the fruit will produce this troublesome sticky sap.
See what I mean, it took a few oiling and repeated washing to get rid of the sticky sap. you can also use disposable gloves.
Once you’ve cut the fruit in two, start cutting the green outer skin of the baby jackfruit(the spiky textured outer layer).
Again make sure to have tissues handy to catch any sap.
Once you’ve cut the skin, cut them into wedges as shown above.
Notice the hard stem in the middle of the wedges?
Cut these off(see above image). once you’ve got rid of the stem, cut the remaining fruit into cubes as shown below.
Transfer the cleaned jackfruit cubes in a bowl of water with a pinch of turmeric. wash the jackfruit.
Drain the turmeric water and place the cut jackfruit cubes in a large bowl.
Cooking the polos ambula curry.
Have all the necessary ingredients ready to cook the jackfruit curry(polos).
Add turmeric(1tsp), roasted curry powder(2tbs), red chilli powder(2 tbs), pepper(1tbs), tamarind juice(4tbs), and salt to season and combine all the ingredients. set aside.
Tempering ingredients to make the polos curry.
Place a medium-sized pan or clay pot over low-medium heat and pour in the oil(4 tbsps).
Add curry leaves(a sprig), pandan(1-2 inch piece), onion(1), ginger-garlic(1 tbsp each)and cook the ingredients over low heat until they release their aroma. 3-5 minutes.
Add cinnamon(2″), cardamoms(4 pods) and continue to cook until onions turn slightly brown, finally add the mustard seed(1 tsp)to the pan and cook for a few minutes(2-3).
Once all the tempered ingredients are ready, add the tempering to the jackfruit that has been marinating in spices.
Combine while cooking over low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the thin milk(1/2cup), cover halfway with a lid and slow simmer over medium heat until thin milk evaporates and the jackfruit is halfway tender. 20-30 minutes.
Once the thin milk evaporates, add thick milk(1 cup) and continue to slow simmer for further 20-30 minutes until the jackfruit is quite soft and you are left with a thick gravy.
Check and season with salt if necessary.
While the jackfruit curry is cooking, you can also add another 1/2 teaspoon of roasted curry powder for more flavour and colour.
Cook until the coconut milk has completely reduced leaving just enough to coat the jackfruit.
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- Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
- 500g young/green jackfruit, cleaned and cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons of chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons of roasted curry powder
- 1 teaspoon of pepper powder
- 4 tablespoon tamarind juice(soak tamarind pulp in 1/4 cup water for few minutes)
- 3-4 tablespoons of oil
- 2-inch piece pandan leaf
- a sprig of curry leaves
- 3 green chillies cut
- 1 large onion sliced fine
- 3 garlic cloves sliced fine or minced(1 tablespoon)
- 1-inch piece ginger minced(1 tablespoon)
- 1-2 inch piece of cinnamon
- 4 pods of cardamom slightly bruised
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/2 cup thin milk
- (if using coconut powder, add 1 tablespoon to 1/2 cup water, if using packaged thick coconut milk, 1/4 cup of thick milk to 1/2 cup of water.
- 1 cup thick milk
- (if using coconut powder, add 2-3 tablespoons to 1 cup of water)
- Have the jackfruit cleaned and cut(see notes above on how to clean).
- Have all the necessary ingredients ready to cook the jackfruit curry(polos).
- Once you’ve cleaned the jackfruit, drain water and place the cut jackfruit cubes in a large bowl.
- Add turmeric(1tsp), roasted curry powder(2tbs), red chilli powder(2 tbs), pepper(1tbs), tamarind juice(4tbs), salt to season and combine all the ingredients. set aside.
- Place a medium-sized pan or clay pot over low-medium heat and pour in the oil(4 tbs).
- Add curry leaves(a sprig), pandan(1-2 inch piece), onion(1), ginger-garlic(1tbs each)and cook the ingredients over low heat until they release their aroma. 3-5 minutes.
- Add cinnamon(1-2 inches), cardamoms(4 pods) and continue to cook until onions turn slightly brown, finally add the mustard seed(1 tsp)to the pan and cook for a few minutes(2-3).
- Once all the tempered ingredients are ready, add the jackfruit that has been marinating in spices and combine while cooking over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the thin milk(1/2cup), cover halfway with a lid and slow simmer over medium heat until thin milk evaporates and the jackfruit is halfway tender. 20-30 minutes.
- Once the thin milk evaporates, add thick milk(1 cup) and continue to slow simmer for further 20-30 minutes until the jackfruit is quite soft and you are left with a thick gravy.
- Check and season with salt if necessary. while the jackfruit curry is cooking, you can also add another 1/2 teaspoon of roasted curry powder for more flavour and colour.
- Cook until the coconut milk has completely reduced leaving just enough to coat the jackfruit.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 568Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 9gSugar: 41gProtein: 10g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.
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