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Sri Lankan-vegan young/green jack fruit curry(polos).

Sri Lankan-vegan young/green jackfruit curry.

This jackfruit curry is also known as Ambul Polos in Sinhalese.

Cooked using green jackfruit or as you might also call raw jackfruit, the vegan dish makes a perfect meatless meal for any day of the week.

And if you visit the island, this is one Sri Lankan vegan curry dish you don’t want to miss trying.

A unique Sri Lankan recipe that you’ll definitely fall in love with.


A traditional Sri Lankan jackfruit curry you won’t find anywhere else.

If you ask me, what’s 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 his/her favorite food or what they miss most.

You’ll find“polos curry” or more familiar to you, the vegan jackfruit curry.

It’s a curry reminiscent of home and mamas meals. 

But there’s more than home-cooked food that makes this jackfruit curry(polos) so popular here.

Part of the reason is when cooked with all the right spices and coconut milk, it is an absolute die for dish. 

The other reason why polos curry is such a popular dish here is that it incorporates 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 bring a smile on your face.

Wait, am I describing the food here or the people?

If you can get your hands on a slow-cooked jackfruit curry that’s cooked for more than 6 hours(the more traditional way).

Dear reader, you are one lucky person.

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.

Sri Lankan-vegan young/green jackfruit curry also known as Ambul Polos in Sinhalese. Enjoy a meatless meal just by adding polos curry to your menu. #greenjackfruit #babyjackfruit #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #slowcooked #srilankan #srialnkanfood

 

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 ).

All you need to know about baby/young jackfruit.

All of a sudden, I see “polos” as we like to call it, turned into a meat substitute and used in tacos, burgers, sandwiches and even pizzas.

It is kind of strange to see, jackfruit curry(polos) in any other way than the curry I am used to. I mean it’s everywhere!

But I do understand why it’s popular and trending, mostly because of its nutritious value and meaty texture that can provide much-needed protein and fiber for vegan, vegetarian diets.

How to clean Jackfruit(step-by-step guide)..

how to clean baby/green jackfruit. #greenjackfruit #babyjackfruit #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #slowcooked #srilankan #srialnkanfood

Ok, honestly, cleaning this baby was a real pain!

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.
how to clean jack fruit #greenjackfruit #babyjackfruit #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #slowcooked #srilankan #srialnkanfood

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.

how to clean jack fruit #greenjackfruit #babyjackfruit #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #slowcooked #srilankan #srialnkanfood

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.

how to clean jack fruit #greenjackfruit #babyjackfruit #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #slowcooked #srilankan #srialnkanfood

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.

how to clean jack fruit #greenjackfruit #babyjackfruit #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #slowcooked #srilankan #srialnkanfood

Transfer the cut raw jackfruit cubes to the turmeric water and have it ready for cooking.

Save the recipe to your favorite Pinterest board!

Sri Lankan-vegan young/green jackfruit curry also known as Ambul Polos in Sinhalese. Enjoy a meatless meal just by adding polos curry to your menu. #greenjackfruit #babyjackfruit #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #slowcooked #srilankan #srialnkanfood

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 Amazon. here’s the link.

RECIPE DIFFICULTY -EASY

Sri Lankan young/greenjackfruit curry(polos 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 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)

Method

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 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 inch), cardamom(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 flavor and color.

Cook until the coconut milk has completely reduced leaving just enough to coat the jackfruit.

Yield: 4

Sri Lankan-vegan young/green jack fruit curry(polos).

Sri Lankan-vegan young/green jackfruit curry also known as Ambul Polos in Sinhalese. Enjoy a meatless meal just by adding polos curry to your menu. #greenjackfruit #babyjackfruit #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #slowcooked #srilankan #srialnkanfood
Sri Lankan-vegan young/green jackfruit curry.

 

This jackfruit curry is also known as Ambul Polos in Sinhalese.

 

Cooked using green jackfruit or as you might also call raw jackfruit, the vegan dish makes a perfect meatless meal for any day of the week.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

    1. Have the jackfruit cleaned and cut(see notes above on how to clean).
    2. Have all the necessary ingredients ready to cook the jackfruit curry(polos).
    3. Once you’ve cleaned the jackfruit, drain water and place the cut jackfruit cubes in a large bowl.
    4. 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.
    5. Place medium-sized pan or clay pot over low-medium heat and pour in the oil(4 tbs).
    6. 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.
    7. Add cinnamon(1-2 inch), cardamom(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).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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 flavor and color. 
    12. Cook until the coconut milk has completely reduced leaving just enough to coat the jackfruit.

    Have you made this recipe?

    Please don’t forget to rate the recipe on the recipe card so other readers find it helpful and show me your recipe by tagging me #islandsmile178 on Instagram.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    4

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 572Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 7gSugar: 37gProtein: 10g

    Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
    It’s free and on the blog, for you to try anytime.

    All I ask is that you do not save it on any apps, recipe boxes or online groups which will affect me as a food blogger and the growth of this blog. I would appreciate if you only share the link rather than the full recipe. 

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    Gillian

    Monday 18th of November 2019

    Followed the recipe to the 'T'. Best curry I ever made. Thanks so much for the recioe.

    jehan

    Monday 18th of November 2019

    Hi Gillian, You are most welcome. glad you enjoyed the polos curry. Regards Jehan

    Nick

    Friday 15th of November 2019

    would the cooking process be the same if i use jack fruit out of a can?.

    jehan

    Saturday 16th of November 2019

    yes, the cooking process is the same if you use the canned version. rgds jehan

    Johanna

    Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

    Seems like someone has stolen your recipe without givning credit...

    https://www.newsfirst.lk/2018/10/19/cooking-as-a-hobby-sri-lankan-polos-curry/amp/

    jehan

    Thursday 3rd of October 2019

    Hi Johanna, Thank you so much for heads up! I called the news station and got them to take down the post. you would expect a new site to know about copyrights and plagiarism. I appreciate your kindness and the time you took to send me about stolen content, not everyone would do what you did so thank you again for your kindness. regards, J

    Kaylene

    Friday 16th of August 2019

    Hi,

    I’m making this right now...

    I can slow cook it but what adjustments do I need to make? Add water or just as is? Looking forward to tasting it.

    jehan

    Friday 16th of August 2019

    Hi Kaylene, I'm not sure about your question here, Are you asking me the settings for a slow cooker? I am not familiar with the use of slow cooker as this is a very traditional recipe always done over a stovetop. Please follow recipe instructions, I have mentioned the use of thin coconut milk and thick coconut milk.

    Amber

    Wednesday 7th of August 2019

    Thank you so much for this recipe and your blog. After seeing wild jackfruit in Hong Kong and hearing about this exciting "new" (to whites in the USA) ingredient, I bought a can of green jackfruit at Trader Joe's. Unfortunately most of the recipes I've found for it are for a BBQ "pulled pork" substitute, so it has sat lonely in my kitchen for months. My new coworker is Sri Lankan so I was just Googling around to learn more about her culture...and of course food is always a great gateway to understanding another place. I look forward to trying this and your other recipes. I always tell people my favorite food is curry because there is no end to the different recipes and cultures to learn about. Thank you again and all the best wishes to you and your family <3

    jehan

    Friday 9th of August 2019

    HI Amber, THANK YOU for this lovely message. I totally understand the"pulled pork" dilemma when it comes to jack fruit. Please do try some of the Sri Lankan recipes on the blog and let me know how it goes. I love hearing from my readers from around the world. Don't hesitate to contact me should you find certain instructions confusing. Regards and blessing. J

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