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Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is believed to have originated in India but is now grown all over South East Asia, South America and central and east Africa. It’s one of the largest fruits in the world and is full of starchy fibre. It’s popularity has grown in recent years as veganism has grown, as the jackfruit flesh almost has a meaty texture like slow cooked or pulled pork. Whilst I have eaten it fresh in Africa, and in vegan outlets in the UK, this was the first time that I had cooked with it and was pleasantly surprised by the results.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

1tbsp olive oil

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp fennel seeds

1 onion - finely diced

1 large clove of garlic - crushed

2cm of ginger - peeled and grated

1 green chilli - deseeded and finely chopped

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

1 tin of plum tomatoes

300g butternut squash - peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

150ml coconut milk

200g jackfruit - from tin or pack

10g fresh coriander - finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 190c.

  2. Arrange the butternut squash on a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.

  3. In the meantime, heat the oil and when hot, add the cumin, mustard and fennel seeds. When they start to pop, reduce the heat and add the onion.

  4. Cook the onion until softened and translucent.

  5. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 2 min.

  6. Add the tin of tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes.

  7. Add the cooked butternut squash and coconut milk and cook for 5-6 minutes.

  8. Allow to cool slightly, and puree with a hand-blender.

  9. Season to taste.

  10. Add the jackfruit and cook on a low heat for at least 30 minutes so that the jackfruit can absorb all the flavours.

  11. Taste again and season as needed. If you would like it to be spicier, add more chilli. Add the coriander and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  12. Serve with rice, naan bread, yoghurt or a dairy free alternative.

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