Jeevi Kadgeche Podi ani Sallache Kurkuri / Bread Fruit Slice Fry and Bread Fruit Skin Fries ...... Yumz ....
Jeevi Kadgi / Bread Fruit is considered Amchies Jeevache. Jeevache means closest to the heart / life. Jeevi means tender fresh. These are similar to Jackfruit in nature, though they do not have any seeds within. They are smaller in size about 8 inches in oblong shape. With thin skin ie is also edible unlike Jackfruit skin. Many dishes are prepared using this vegetable but the best of all is podies ie. fries and bajo’s. It is difficult to get these in Mumbai, though they are available in Southern Indian Stores / Mangalore Stores and in Matunga Market. But since they are not available closes to my vicinity, I always find it difficulut to get them. But when I do I see to it that I manage to do most of the loved items by using them sparingly for each dish. The skin part can also be used to make fries, which we lovingly call jeevi kadgi kurkuri kaddi meaning crispy sticks. For this which slicing off the skin you should remove it a little bit thicker so that you get a little bit of thickness while frying the same.
Peel the skin a little bit thicker and cut the jeevi kadgi / breadfruit into two pieces horizontally. Further again cut it into two vertically. ie. you should cut the fruit in quarters. Slice of the inner pith. Then cut the jeevi kadgi into ½ inch slices as shown in the picture. You should have about 10-12 pieces. Leave the rest of the jeevi kadgi specially the corner parts for preparation of other curries. Keep aside the thickly sliced skin portion aside to prepared kurkuries.
For the preparation of podis : Wash the slices and put them in a colander for the water to completely drain off. Put them in a bowl. Add 2 tsps of chilly powder, 1 tsp hing powder, 1 tsp vinegar and salt to taste. Mix all well to evenly coat the jeevi kadgi / brad fruit slices. If needed you can sprinkle some water. Cover and put the coated slices in fridge for some time. This helps in absorbtion of flavour as well as the slices will not get spoilt due to heat.
Spread rice flour in a plate evenly. Remove the slices and roll them over the rice flour, tap it to remove excess flour and keep them ready aside for frying. Repeat the process with all pieces. You can either shallow fry or deep fry this depending upon individual taste. Both taste good. But I usually deep fry them.
Heat plenty of oil in a thick bottomed kadai and gently slip in the dusted slices one by one. Do not overcrowd the kadai, there should be enough space to stir the pieces and they should have enough space and oil to get evenly cooked and fried. Keep stirring frequently. Do not allow it to be crisp. It hardly takes about 5 minutes to get cooked. If done more they loose their softness from within and becomes chewy. Remove with the help of slotted spoon and put them on an absorbent paper for excess oil to drain off completely. Serve hot at lunch time with Daalitoy, Rice etc.
For making the skin kurkuri : These are made using the thickly sliced off skin portion of the Jeevi Kadgi / Bread fruit. Cut this into 3 inch thick strips. Wash and put them in a colander to strain off excess water. Once fully drained, put these in a bowl, add salt to taste, chilly powder, besan / bengal gram flour, rice flour, hing powder and mix well. Sprinkle a little bit of water and make it into a binding paste that sticks to the Jeevi Kadgi pieces.
Heat plenty of oil in a thick bottomed kadai ang gently add in the Jeevi Kadgi skin pieces, note that while you add two to three may stick together. Do not worry, as and when you stir with slotted spoon it get separated. Do not overcrowd the kadai, there should be enough space to stir the pieces and they should have enough space and oil to get evenly cooked and fried. Keep stirring frequently and cook till they are crispy. Do not burn them. It takes about 10 minutes to get crispy fried kurkuri of about 200 gms. Remove with the help of slotted spoon and put them on an absorbent paper for excess oil to drain off completely. Serve hot at lunch time with Daalitoy, Rice etc.
Both Breadfruit Slices and Skin Kurkuries are usually prepared the same day at one go as it is easier and economical too. All Ingredients are almost similar, plus the skin should be used within a few hours off slicing lest it become limp and discolours. So go ahead and enjoy both Jeevi Kadgi podi and Jeevi Kadgi Skin Kurkuries. as it is as snack or with Dalitoy and Sheetha ie Dal and Rice.