Two For The Price Of One! - Ponsache Patholi Ani Gariyo (Steamed Jackfruit & Rice Cake and Jackfruit Fritters)

On one of my weekly trips to Hypercity (the most well stocked supermarket in the burbs) I found myself sniffing around as the unmatchable fragrance of the Jackfruit wafted towards the aisle where I was picking my groceries. I left whatever I was doing to rush to the fresh fruit section and there! I saw the gorgeous sight of ripe yellow 'Ghare' (pods) of jackfruit being picked and kept for sale. "Wow" was my first reaction to this scene and I ran to pick the juiciest of the season's bounty. The price was a rip off obviously for a person like me who has spent her whole life eating free Jackfruits at home (and shunning them later when I had had enough). So I bought a kilo for 120 bucks and came home happily with my prized possession. The sweet fragrance of the Jackfruits quickly filled my house and we had a few juicy ones before I jealously guarded the remaining ones to be used for making
Mangalore's most famous seasonal snacks - Patholi & Gariyo

When my mum-in-law arrived to spend a few days with us, she was surprised that I had already bought some Jackfruit home when in Mangalore the ones on the trees were still in the process of ripening. Together we set out to make the two delicacies. We made the batter and then split it into half to be used for the two as the ingredients remain the same. If you like to make a small batch of the two, the quantities given below are ideal. You can even make the batter in one go & deep freeze half of it & use it later.

The Jackfruit tree is just as famous as the Coconut Tree in South India, known for its various uses. While the raw Jacfruit (called as 'Khadgi in Konkani) is used in curries and stir fries (sukhe - see recipe), the ripe one (Ponos) with the juicy flesh is eaten raw or cooked in sweet delicacies as mentioned above. The seeds of the jackfruit are dried in the sun and used along with other vegetables in gravies. While the seeds are called as the 'Bikna' in Konkani, the singular form is not called  'Bikon' (Bug/Pest in Konkani ), its called as 'Bikaan'. The Jackfruit leaves are shaped into small 'katoris' and used to steam a typical Mangalorean idli called the 'Kottige' (my mouth is watering already). I hope to be able to make it someday if I manage to get some leaves back from Mangalore. 

While most Mangaloreans/Keralites love the Jackfruit, many North Indians I know run away from the strong fragrance. The Jackfruit is almost similar to the 'Durian' which Thai's love so much if you have visited Bangkok.
Ponsache Patholi Ani Gariyo
(Printable Recipe)
Prep time: 25min | Steam time or deep frying time: 20 mins | Yield 4 medium sized patholis or 24 gariyo

For the patholi - 4-5 Large Teak leaves ( or banana leaves cut in 10x4 inch pieces)
For the gariyo - oil for deep frying

1. Wash & soak the rice in sufficient water for at least 3 hours. Remove the seed from each pod and retain the seeds (to be used in curries). Roughly chop the jackfruit pieces. Carefully clean the teak/banana leaves with water & pat dry. Keep aside.
2. After 3 hours completely drain the rice and grind it along with the jackfruit pieces, jaggery, pinch of salt and pepper powder to a fine paste. The batter should be thick & dryish like dosa batter. The moisture in the jackfruit is enough to get the grinding going & hassle free. Use water sparingly only if mixer grinder is used (in which case adding little water may be essential for the grinding process)
If you are making Patholis, add the coconut shavings and follow Step# 3 below. If you are making Gariyo, see Step# 6


3. To the ground batter add coconut shavings and mix well. Place about 1 cup of the batter on a teak leaf and spread it in an oblong shape. Fold into packets & fasten with tooth picks.
4. Bring water to a rolling boil in a traditional Mangalorean Tondor or idli/ dhokla steamer and place the prepared packets into it in such a way that all packets receive steam proportionately. Do not overcrowd. Steam for 20-25 mins.
5. Remove & allow to cool a bit. The colour of the leaves would have changed from deep green to brown or purplish brown. The Patholis will also have this colour. Open the packets & discard the leaves. Cut into slices & serve!


6. To make Gariyos, add the grated coconut to the batter.
7. Heat oil for deep frying in a deep heavy bottomed pan. When it has heated sufficiently (not smoking hot - but passes the drop test) reduce the flame to medium high & gently put about two tablespoons of batter at a time (lime sized) into the oil. Fry the fritters by tossing them gently so all the sides are uniformly cooked, till the outsides look golden-maroon. Remove before they turn black - they should have the colour of gulab jamoons.
8. Place on an absorbent kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil. 
9. Serve hot with a cup of hot tea. They taste best when they are slightly cooled as you can get to taste the sweetness of the Jackfruit with the hint of Jaggery & Coconut. Gariyos keep well for 4-5 days in an airtight box.

The jackfruit pods should be cleaned of the seed & pith and then weighed. I have used 1 kg of cleaned and ready to eat jackfruit pods. However you may adjust the amount of fruit used according to your taste and according to the sweetness of the fruit. 

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