Happy #TacoTuesday! If you are following me on Instagram, you may have caught my Instagram Live tutorial on two delicious mains: Mexican Masala Jackfruit and Tempeh “Sofritas”. Both of these recipes take less than 30 minutes to make, and is a perfect addition to any dish like tacos, burritos, pizza, salads, grain bowls or even as a sabji!
In this first of two blog posts, I’ve shared how to make Mexican Masala Jackfruit–a dish that is sure to send your tastebuds off into paradise, at a beach-front fiesta with waves of flavors in every bite. I’ve shared this dish with over 8 friends in the last 3 days and I am proud to say it has pleasantly surprised each and every one of them.
Never tried jackfruit?
Raw jackfruit has a neutral flavor, with some faint notes of apple, banana, lychee, mango, melon, and pineapple. But when you pair this funky fruit with the right spices, it takes on whatever flavors it’s cooked with and can surely fool non-vegans alike!
*I highly recommend using canned or defrosted frozen green jackfruit (aka unripe) packed in brine (not sweet syrup!) for this recipe. I picked mine up from Trader Joes, but you can probably find them at any Asian or Indian markets as well!
A note on the method:
You can make this dish on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot/pressure cooker. I have provided instructions for both methods below, but definitely prefer the Instant Pot/pressure cooker method for the most flavor in the quickest time!
▸ Vegan, Jain, Vegetarian, gluten-free
Makes: 6-10 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
20-oz can green jackfruit (in brine) Temper: 2 tbsp neutral oil (I use grapeseed oil) 1 tsp asafetida (hing) 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional) Marinade: 1 tbsp coconut sugar (sub agave or maple syrup) 2 tbsp tomato paste 3 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos 3 tbsp lime juice (1-1.5 limes) Masala Spice Mix: 1/2 tsp red chili (+/- 1/2 tsp cayenne) 1 tsp paprika 2 tsp garam masala 1 tsp thyme 2 tsp oregano 1 tsp dried ginger 1/4 tsp allspice Salt to taste
Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Method:
- Prep the jackfruit: Drain and rinse a 20 oz can of jackfruit pieces. Squeeze out any excess water by pressing firmly on the pieces, and pulling them to apart into stringy pieces. Remove any tough cores/seeds as you go. Set aside.
- Prep the masala spice mix: In a small bowl, mix together chili, paprika, garam masala, thyme, oregano, ginger, allspice) and set aside.
- Prep the marinade: In another bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, and lime juice.
- Temper: Heat oil on medium heat in a skillet or deep pan. If using an Instant Pot, you can do this step on the sauté mode. When hot, add asafetida and let sizzle for about 30 seconds.
- Bring heat down to low-medium. Add sliced celery and jalapeno, stirring frequently to avoid burning for about 2 minutes or until celery is cooked down/translucent.
- Add the masala spice mix and stir for 20 seconds to release aroma from the spices. Add the jackfruit and stir to coat. Add small splashes of water as needed to deglaze the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the marinade from step 3 and stir to coat.
- If using an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker: Add 1/2 cup of water, stir, close lid, and set on high pressure for 5 minutes. After the time is up, let the pressure cooker naturally release pressure before opening.
- If using stovetop method: Add 1/2 cup of water and let slow cook on low-medium heat for at least 30 minutes (ideally 45 min-1 hr for the most flavor). Add splashes of water and stir as needed to prevent it from drying out/sticking to the pan.
- Serve up in whatever way you desire!
Note on salt: Most soy sauces already contain enough salt for this recipe, but if using tamari, coconut aminos, or a sodium-reduced soy sauce, be sure to salt to taste.
To serve, I assembled these delicious tacos with a mango-pepper-bean salad (recipe coming soon!), a tangy lime cashew sour cream (recipe coming soon!), fresh salsa, guacamole, and some vibrant greens.
If you enjoyed this recipe–look out for part 2: Tempeh Sofritas! Loaded with protein and flavor, this dish will be another delicious filling to add to your DIY taco station!
In good health and spirits,
Priyanka | Pinki’s Palate