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Jackfruit Curry, “Vegetarian Chicken” Recipe

Jackfruit curry or Kathal ki Sabzi is a summer seasonal speciality. Tender Jackfruit has a texture similar to cooked chicken even though it doesn’t smell or taste like poultry. One of the reasons, it is known as a vegetarian or a vegan chicken in India is because its base curry is prepared with the same ingredients as a chicken curry. It is so close to it in the texture and smell that it can leave even a meat eater stunned.

These days tender Jackfruits are available in cans in supermarkets across the world. They are already cut and boiled, but if you find a fresh Jackfruit then make sure it is not heavier than 1.5 Kilos. Peeling and cutting a Jackfruit can be an annoying process, a milk-like resin oozes out as soon as you cut it. This resin is very sticky and it can only be removed with the help of edible oil. To prevent this resin from sticking to the surface it comes in contact with, including your hands, smear oil on the knife, the cutting board and your hands.

After cutting the central core, and peeling the skin you will be left with the edible part of the jackfruit. Cut these pieces into roughly 2-inch pieces. The total yield of edible parts from a 1.5 kilogram Jackfruit was about 1 kilo.

Jackfruit Curry Vegan Chicken Curry

Recipe by Srikant SinghCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Difficult


Prep time


Cooking time



This is a very rich, highly aromatic but mildly spicy Jackfruit curry made with a wide selection of spices.


  • 500 gm unripe jackfruit

  • 200 gm / 1.5 cups chopped onions

  • 200 gm / 1 cup chopped Tomatoes

  • 1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste

  • 1 fresh green chilli

  • 1/2 Tbsp Salt

  • 1/4 cup Yogurt

  • Ingredients for boiling Jackfruit
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
    1 tsp Salt

  • Spices for curry base
  • 2-inch Cassia/cinnamon stick

  • 5 green Cardamom pods

  • 2 Tejpat or Indian bay leaf

  • 1.5 Tbsp Coriander powder

  • 1 Tbsp Cumin powder

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder

  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 Tbsp Fenugreek leaves (Optional)

  • Oil
  • 6 to 7 Tbsp Mustad oil in total


  • Boil the jackfruit chunks in water along with 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp salt for 10 to 15 mins or until cooked. Drain the water.
  • The boiled Jackfruit can also be used in the curry but shallow frying them enhances the taste and the texture.
    Heat 3 Tbsp Oil in a pan and shallow fry the cooked jackfruit on all sides for five minutes.
  • To make the curry base, add 3 to 4 Tbsp cooking oil to a pan. Keep the heat on medium-low. Add a 2-inch piece of cinnamon or cassia stick, 5 pods of green cardamom and 2 Tejpat or Indian bay leaf. Cook for a minute or until the aroma appears.
  • Add chopped onions and fry for about a minute. Add 1 tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste and cook for about 3 minutes or until the raw smell of ginger, garlic and onion mellows down.
  • Add ground spices Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder, Turmeric Powder, Kashmiri Red chilli Powder, Garam Masala, and Salt. Mix and fry for about a minute.
  • Prepare a puree with Tomato and green chilli and add this to the pan. Mix and cook until the paste thickens and boils.
  • Add yoghurt at this stage. If you want to avoid tomatoes completely then double the amount of Yogurt to replace tomatoes completely. Mix and simmer for 2 minutes or until the paste comes to a boil.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of dried fenugreek leaves or kasuri methi at this stage and mix it thoroughly. Simmer for about two minutes.
  • Add the fried jackfruit to this curry base now. Mix thoroughly add 1 cup of water and simmer for about 5 minutes with the lid on.
  • Add more water at the end of five minutes to make the curry thinner. But do not make the curry too thin like a soup. Add fresh coriander leaves as a final ingredient and mix.
  • Serve the dish hot along with roti, naan or rice.

Recipe Video

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