Kathal Ki Sabji means “Jackfruit Curry” in Hindi, and it means DINNER TIME at my house because my family and I have been vegan for more than 20 years. Whether you’re new to cooking with jackfruit or a seasoned pro, this recipe is your gateway to a very flavorful, meaty dish that just happens to be completely plant-based and gluten-free.
When jackfruit is mature and ripe, it is sweet and yellow. But when it is young and green, the flavor is really mild, and it has a stringy texture that is reminiscent of meat. Out of my vegan butter chicken, vegan tikka masala, and my soya chaap sabji, this jackfruit recipe is the most natural of all vegetarian Indian dishes that have meat-like textures.
Follow the easy, step-by-step instructions in this sabzi recipe, and you’ll nail making it on your very first attempt. Let’s start cooking!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
✊ Vegan AF: This dish is basically meat without causing harm to animals.
🥸 Fool-proof Method: I’ve simplified the cooking process to ensure success, even if you aren’t so confident in the kitchen. My photographed step-by-step instructions guarantee a result you will be proud of.
Suddha Sattva: This dish can be offered as bhoga because it is completely free of onions, garlic, and other tamasic and rajasic ingredients. It’s also ekadasi-friendly if you don’t use a soy-based yogurt. My faves that are suitable during ekadasi are almond milk yogurt or cashew yogurt.
✅ Tested and Approved Worldwide: Like all the recipes on my blog, Kathal Ki Sabji has undergone tons of tweaking by me, and rigorous testing by a global team of recipe testers. No matter where you are on this planet, you can trust that this recipe will shine with different ingredient brands and cooking equipment.
🌿 Notable ingredients and substitutions
You might know that India has a ton of dialects. Jackfruit is known as kathal in Hindi, kothaal in Assamese, chakka in Malayali, phanas in Marathi, ponos in Konkani, and halasa in Kannadiga. Whatever you call it, it’s a versatile ingredient with a neutral taste and meaty texture that easily absorbs the flavors of spices and seasonings in this curry. If unavailable, you can make this recipe using soya chaap, or my vegan chicken instead.
Dried fenugreek leaves lend an earthy, impossible-to-replace aroma and flavor to the curry, balancing its richness. Fresh fenugreek leaves can be used in place of the dried stuff if you have them on hand.
Made from various plant-based ingredients like almond, soy, or coconut, contributes creaminess and tanginess to the jackfruit sabzi. I highly recommend using an unsweetened and unflavored variety.
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact quantities, nutritional info, and detailed cooking directions.
Kathal Ki Sabji with Coconut Milk and Thai herbs: To add a Thai vibe to your jackfruit curry, substitute the plant-based yogurt with coconut milk, and add a generous dollop of tom yum paste. Top the curry with a tadka made from makrut lime leaves and Thai basil.
📖How to make perfect kathal
Nail this on your first shot by following these step-by-step instructions with important tips. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Drain the canned young green jackfruit. Give them a gentle but effective squeeze to remove excess water from the jackfruit pieces. You can also break up the sections into smaller pieces by hand if you like, which will give them a more natural appearance. Or you can use finely chopped jackfruit to give a texture similar to ground meat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the drained jackfruit with unsweetened plant-based yogurt, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric, kasuri methi, grated ginger, and garam masala. Try to make sure every nook and cranny of the jackfruit is coated by this flavor-packed marinade.
Heat oil in a generously sized skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. The more surface contact between the jackfruit and the pan, the better.
After 90 seconds, when the oil is hot, add the seasoned jackfruit mixture to the skillet. Stir-fry it for 7-9 minutes, flipping the pieces around every couple of minutes until lightly golden brown in spots. Use a metal spatula so you can scrape up and recombine any marinade sticking to the pan’s bottom.
Add the minced chili, curry leaves, and diced tomatoes and continue to sauté for 3 minutes.
Add the water, along with salt, to your personal taste preferences. Make sure to give the sabji a good stir. Cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low. Allow the Kathal Ki Sabji to simmer for 10-12 minutes. The jackfruit should be tender and the gravy thickened.
Transfer the curry to an attractive serving dish and garnish with fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) and thinly sliced green chilies.
- Eliminate as much water as you can. By draining the canned young green jackfruit and giving it a gentle squeeze to remove excess water without crushing it, it will soak up more of the marinade and yield a better texture when cooked.
- Marinate: You can cook the jackfruit right away, or if you have time, let it marinate in a container in the fridge overnight before stir-frying it.
- Water ratio: Make the curry dryer with less water, or add more water and increase the cooking time if you want the jackfruit to be extra soft.
Young green jackfruit is an unripe tropical fruit that’s often used in vegan and vegetarian dishes. You can find it in cans at most Asian grocery stores, well-stocked supermarkets, and online.
Canned young green jackfruit is typically used for its convenience and consistency. If you have access to fresh unripe jackfruit, you can use it, but you’ll need to remove the seeds and adjust the cooking time as fresh jackfruit takes longer to become tender.
Yes, Kathal Ki Sabji is naturally gluten-free. Just be sure to check the labels of any packaged spices or condiments you use to ensure they are gluten-free as well.
Allow the dish to cool to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to four days.
🔥 Reheating on the Stovetop:
Place a non-stick pan or skillet on low to medium heat.
Add the leftover curry to the pan.
Stir occasionally to heat it evenly.
Reheat for approximately 5-10 minutes or until it’s piping hot.
☢️ Reheating in the Microwave:
Transfer a portion of the curry to a microwave-safe glass or ceramic container.
Cover the container with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plate.
Heat on medium power (50%) for 2-3 minutes, then stir.
Continue to heat in 1-2 minute increments until the curry is thoroughly heated.
✌️My faves to serve with this dish:
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Kathal Ki Sabji (Indian Jackfruit Curry)
- 2 20 oz. can young green jackfruit drained
- ½ cup yogurt unsweetened plant-based
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon kasuri methi fresh or dried
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 3 tablespoons oil canola oil, vegetable oil, or peanut oil
- 16 curry leaves
- 1 green chili minced
- 1 cup tomatoes diced
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves chopped
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cilantro leaves
- Thinly sliced green chilies (hari mirch) to taste
- Start by draining the young green jackfruit from the cans and rinsing it thoroughly to remove any brine. I like to gently squeeze it without crushing it badly to remove extra water. This helps the jackfruit achieve a better texture when it is cooked.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the drained jackfruit, unsweetened plant-based yogurt, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric, kasuri methi, grated ginger, and garam masala. Mix everything well, ensuring the jackfruit is evenly coated with the spices and yogurt.
- Heat the oil of your choice (canola, vegetable, or peanut oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. After 90 seconds, when the oil is hot, add the jackfruit mixture to the skillet and stir-fry for 7-9 minutes, until the jackfruit is lightly golden brown in spots and much of the marinade has absorbed, or formed a little bit of a crust.
- Add the minced chili, curry leaves and diced tomatoes and sauté them with the jackfruit for 3 minutes until the tomatoes become soft and start to break down.
- Pour in the water, lemon juice and add salt to taste. Stir well, cover the skillet, and let it simmer over low heat for about 10-12 minutes, or until the jackfruit becomes tender and the gravy thickens.
- Garnish your Kathal Ki Sabji with fresh cilantro leaves and thinly sliced green chilies, adjusting the spiciness to your liking.