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Rapid Creek Market – Green Jackfruit

Jackfruit is so prevalent in Darwin and so versatile it’s surprising it’s not more widely used, especially in its unripe form when it has the tasty, meaty texture of an artichoke.

Green jackfruit is used in curries and savoury dishes everywhere from the Caribbean to Sri Lanka and at the height of the pulled pork phenomenon, was even touted as a vegan alternative – although no one seemed to take that up. Not even in Darwin.

Many local growers at Rapid Creek Market sell the green fruit pre-peeled and cut, ready for cooking. The pieces include the seeds, which cook along with the fruit and add a pleasing crunch, similar to water chestnut.

Saifulloh Samsul and his wife Sarah own the popular market stall Borneo Intersection, where their Padang menu includes a jackfruit curry that has all the right sweet and savoury flavours to make the most of the mild flesh.

“I’ve been eating this from when I was born,” says Samsul, who arrived in Darwin 10 years ago and opened the stall around 2012. 

“It’s easy to get it in Darwin. We sell here authentic beef rendang for the people who like meat curries, and the jackfruit is perfect for people who are vegetarian or vegan. Jackfruit is perfect for people who can’t eat meat. I learned to cook from the street, that’s where the original food in Indonesia comes from. We cook street food but with high-standard ingredients.”

Samsul buys his green jackfruit from Rapid Creek Market, where he starts setting up his Sunday stall at 2am.

Green jackfruit needs to be boiled before it’s tender enough to add to a curry, or pulled apart for a ‘pulled pork’ style dish.

For his Minganese style jackfruit curry, Samsul uses a fragrant ‘thousand spice’ powder he makes from an array of roasted spices including coriander, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, clove and turmeric.

He adds this to a fresh paste of lemongrass, garlic, candlenuts, chilli and galangal before adding coconut milk and finally, the cooked jackfruit pieces.

Borneo Intersection | Most Sundays, Rapid Creek Market | Most Thursdays and Sundays, Mindil Beach Sunset Market

Saifulloh’s Jackfruit Curry

Green jackfruit pieces (sold in bags at Rapid Creek Market) 
Onion, chopped
Chilli paste
Candlenuts (optional)
Kaffir lime leaf
1 tablespoon curry spice powder 
Tin coconut milk
Coconut powder

Saifulloh Samsul cooks in large quantities, so this recipe is a guide only. Boil the jackfruit pieces for 10 minutes, until they’re soft and have turned a greyish colour. Blend the remaining fresh ingredients, excluding the onion and kaffir lime leaf, into a paste. Fry the onion, chilli and herb paste until fragrant; add the kaffir lime leaf and spice powder. Mix the tinned coconut milk with some powder to make it creamier, then add to the curry. Simmer for five to 10 minutes then add the cooked jackfruit and simmer for 20 minutes. Eat with rice or roti.

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