Vegan Kathal Biryani with Jackfruit | Cooking With Jade The Food and Travel Blog by Chef Jade

Vegan Kathal Biryani with Jackfruit


The definition of a #Tradish from India.

On my ancestry quest, I learned my great grandmother was from New Delhi and was an excellent cook!

So, today we are making an Indian hashtag-tradish: vegan Kathal Biryani with Jackfruit!

The fruit of the jack tree can be eat when ripe or unripe, is considered a vegetable AND a fruit. I’d say it’s a “jack” of all trades

As a fruit, it’s used in desserts like pies or made into jams and syrups. As a vegetable, it’s used in stews, curries and Biryani! So, lets get down to it!



For The Rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water for cooking the rice
  • water for soaking the rice
  • one single strand of mace
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 1 tejpatta (indian bay leaf)
  • salt as required

For Jackfruit Biryani Gravy

  • 3 cup chopped jackfruit (kathal)
  • 1 cup soy, coconut, almond or cashew-based yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • a single strand of mace
  • a small piece of stone flower
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon shah caraway seeds
  • 2 medium thinly sliced onions
  • 1 medium chopped tomato
  • 1.5 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
  • 1.5 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoon ghee
  • Combine 1 inch ginger + 3 garlic cloves +1 green chili and blend into a paste
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water
  • salt as required

For Layering Jackfruit Biryani

  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 3 tablespoon soy, coconut, almond milk
  • 2 pinch of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon rose water

Prepping Jackfruit in India!


Preparing Rice

  • Rinse rice till the water runs clear
  • Soak the rice in water for 30 mins.
  • Boil 4 cups of water in a pan or pot.
  • Drain the rice and then add it to the boiling water.
  • Add all the whole spices – mace, cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves and tejpatta.
  • Season with salt and cook the rice till the grains are 3/4th cooked. Drain and keep the rice aside.
  • Once all the steam has gone from the rice, cover the rice.

Chopping Jackfruit

  • Apply oil on your palms, knife, and chopping board
  • Chop the jackfruit and remove the seeds
  • Place chopped jackfruit in a pan or a large bowl of water to prevent discoloration

Preparing Jackfruit Gravy For Biryani

  • Heat ghee in a Dutch oven or pot
  • Add all mace, stone flower, cinnamon, cloves, caraway seeds, cardamoms to pot and Saute for 1 minute
  • Add the sliced onions and cook until they are caramelized
  • Remove half of the onions and drain them on paper towels.
  • Saute ginger, garlic and green chili paste for a minute or utill the raw aroma goes away.
  • Then add the tomatoes, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Saute for 1 to 2 mins.
  • Add both the spice powders – red chili powder and turmeric powder
  • Add the chopped jackfruit. Stir and saute for 7 to 8 mins. Then add the beaten yogurt.
  • Stir and add water. Add salt and cover the pot with its lid.
  • Simmer the gravy till the jackfruit is cooked and tender.
  • If the water dries up while cooking, then you can add some water.
  • Also soak saffron in warm milk and keep aside.

Assembling The Kathal Biryani

  • In the same Dutch oven or pot, on top of the jackfruit gravy, add half of the fried onions.
  • Spread a second layer of rice. Add all the rice in this layer.
  • If you want you can make 4 layers. Then you will have to make these layers in another pan or pot.
  • Sprinkle the saffron flavored milk along with the saffron threads, rose water or kewra water on the rice. Also dot with ghee.

Cooking Kathal Biryani

  • If done cooking on stove top – heat a tava or griddle. When the tava becomes hot, lower the flame. Place a moist kitchen napkin or towel on the pot covering it. Then place the lid tightly. The moist napkin or towel should not touch the biryani. Keep the pot on the tava and dum cook for 25 to 30 mins on a low flame.
  • If baking in oven – cover the lid of the dutch oven tightly. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. Place the dutch oven in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 mins.
  • Once done, allow the jackfruit biryani to stand for 7 to 8 mins. Later serve the kathal biryani with raita, pickle and papad.

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