Polos Curry (Sri Lankan Jackfruit Coconut Curry) Recipe

Bowl of jackfruit curry besides rice and green chili slices
Bowl of jackfruit curry besides rice and green chili slices - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Polos curry is a traditional Sri Lankan coconut curry that typically features jackfruit, a lesser-known tropical fruit. When ripe, jackfruit is sweet with a banana-like flavor. But it's the unripe green jackfruit we'll be using here, which is available canned and has recently grown in popularity as a plant-based meat substitute due to its mild flavor and a texture reminiscent of shredded chicken or pulled pork. However, in this Sri Lankan curry jackfruit is not meant to mimic another ingredient, but is delicious in its own right, soaking up the spicy coconut curry sauce. Try this creamy, pungent curry and discover the myriad flavors within this island nation's cuisine.

According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its bold and aromatic flavors. With a long history of colonization, proximity to culinary behemoth India, and the indigenous influence of the country's original people, the Veddas, Sri Lanka's cuisine is a flavorful melting pot that reflects its rich cultural heritage and many diverse influences. Perfectly emblematic of this fusion of history and flavors, this creamy curry combines fresh plants, aromatic spices, and coconut with Indian and Malay flavor influences that deliver a punch of flavors.

So pour yourself a glass of cold beer (Sri Lankan Lion lager is our personal favorite pairing), and dig into this warming curry with a big piece of super-soft roti. The leftovers taste even better the next day, so don't rush to finish it all!

Read more: 25 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

Gather The Ingredients For Polos Curry

ingredients
ingredients - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

The secret to this aromatic curry is the perfect combination of roasted spice with creamy coconut milk. To make the seasoning, you will need mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, green cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick, and dried or fresh curry leaves. These whole spices will be toasted and then ground and mixed with coconut oil or ghee, a green chili or two, if you're feeling brave, some grated ginger and turmeric powder. Shredded green jackfruit and a can of coconut milk are all you'll need to complete this foray into Sri Lankan flavors. And trust us, once you try it you'll probably want to go back and explore more!

Step 1: Toast The Spices

Spices in copper pan
Spices in copper pan - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

In a small pan, dry roast the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and the curry leaves until fragrant.

Step 2: Grind The Spice Mix

Spices in grinder
Spices in grinder - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Remove from the heat and coarsely grind.

Step 3: Saute Green Chilies With Spice Mix

Pan with coconut oil, chilies and spices
Pan with coconut oil, chilies and spices - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Heat coconut oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat. Add the sliced green chilies and the roasted spice mixture. Saute for 1 minute.

Step 4: Add Shallots

Pan with shallots, chilies and spices
Pan with shallots, chilies and spices - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Add the diced shallot and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 5: Add Garlic And Ginger

Pan with shallots, chilies and spices with ginger and garlic
Pan with shallots, chilies and spices with ginger and garlic - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Saute for 1 minute.

Step 6: Add Turmeric

Pan with sauteed shallots, chilies and spices
Pan with sauteed shallots, chilies and spices - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Stir in the turmeric powder and salt. Cook for 1 minute.

Step 7: Add Jackfruit And Coconut Milk

Pan of jackfruit curry with coconut milk
Pan of jackfruit curry with coconut milk - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Add the shredded jackfruit and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer.

Step 8: Reduce The Heat And Simmer

Pan of jackfruit curry with spatula
Pan of jackfruit curry with spatula - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the jackfruit is tender and the curry has thickened.

Step 7: Serve The Jackfruit Curry

Pan of jackfruit curry besides rice
Pan of jackfruit curry besides rice - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Adjust seasoning with salt if needed and serve hot with rice or roti, if desired.

Polos Curry (Sri Lankan Jackfruit Coconut Curry) Recipe

Bowl of jackfruit curry with wooden spoon
Bowl of jackfruit curry with wooden spoon - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

What Are Some Tips For Roasting And Grinding Your Own Spice Mix?

Close up on jackfruit curry
Close up on jackfruit curry - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Many of us pride ourselves on having a well-stocked spice cabinet -- but the secret to truly flavorful curries and stews is a spice grinder, a pan, and an understanding of how to roast and grind your own spice mixes. Whole spices purchased from a reputable store with a high turnover have much more flavor and aroma than their ground counterparts. Roasting further releases their oils, infusing the food with more punch and flavor.

To properly roast your spice, start with a pan preheated to medium heat without any oil. A cast iron or even copper pan will be best. You will then arrange your spices in the pan and heat them on medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until they start to smell fragrant. The moment the spices release their aromas, remove them from the pan and grind them immediately in a spice grinder, clean coffee grinder, food processor, or even with a mortar and pestle. This will prevent them from burning and going acrid. The finer the grind, the more flavor your spice mix will have. Finally, for the best mixes, make only as much as you need and store any leftover spice mix in a cool dark place. Roasting intensifies the aromas and flavors of spices, while grinding just before use unlocks their fullest essence.

What Are Some Good Ways To Serve This Jackfruit Curry?

Bowl of jackfruit curry besides rice and green chili slices
Bowl of jackfruit curry besides rice and green chili slices - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

This rich and flavorful coconut-based curry pairs perfectly with steamed basmati rice or fragrant jeera rice. Freshly made roti, naan, or other soft Indian or Sri Lankan breads are perfect for soaking up the sauce. This jackfruit curry also goes well with dosas (lentil and rice crepes) such as masala dosa. You could also serve it with papadums or other crispy lentil wafers for scooping.

Top with fresh cilantro, sliced red onions, or a sprinkle of crunchy sev noodles for added flavor and texture. A dollop of cool yogurt or a cucumber-yogurt raita can help balance the heat. Or if you want to pay a true homage to this curry's origins, serve it as part of a Sri Lankan-inspired meal alongside a green apple curry recipe, Sri Lankan egg hopper, or even a bowl of kanji, a seemingly innocuous rice porridge that has a more complex political history than you might think.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.