3 20-ounce cans young (or raw) green jackfruit
6 black cardamom pods
⅓ cup grapeseed oil
½ tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cup finely chopped onions (approximately 1 large onion)
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
6 to 8 large whole dried red chilies, broken in half, with seeds
2 cups crushed tomatoes
½ tablespoon ground black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup water
6 cups oil for deep frying
For the Jackfruit:
Line 2 baking trays with clean, dry tea towels. Drain canned jackfruit and lay out pieces in a single layer on towels to absorb any excess water. Set aside for about half an hour. (If you leave it out too long, the jackfruit will become too dry.) Break open cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Discard the pods. Set aside the seeds.
Heat the oil in a pan on medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds and cook for about 10 seconds, or until they begin to sizzle. Add the onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, or until brown. Add the garlic and dried chilies, with seeds, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and add the cardamom seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek, turmeric, chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, coriander, and salt. Stir well and reduce the heat to medium. Cook this masala, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes or until the oil separates from the tomatoes and the masala glistens. Stir in the water, turn off the heat, and set aside.
To Assemble and Serve:
Line a baking tray with paper towels. Preheat a deep fryer to high heat or heat oil in a large heavy pan on high heat for 5 minutes. Drop a small piece of jackfruit into the oil. It should immediately float to the top and sizzle. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until very light brown. Keep your face at a distance, as the jackfruit can spatter. Using tongs, transfer fried jackfruit to the paper towels to drain any excess oil. Turn off the deep fryer. Cool jackfruit for 15 minutes.
Carefully stir the jackfruit into the masala in a pot, so the pieces don’t break, then put over a medium heat. Once the masala starts to boil and the jackfruit is well mixed into the spices, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid after 5 minutes so the jackfruit does not overcook. Spoon piping hot Jackfruit onto 6 plates.