Saturday, February 13, 2021

Vegan Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a popular and flavorful dish that is spicy, hearty, and made with rice, vegetables, shrimp, and sausage.  This doesn't mean that vegans have to miss jambalaya. Substitutes can be used or the meat part can be omitted. Jambalaya is a creole dish with African, Spanish, and French influence. The Cajun version doesn't use tomatoes whereas the creole version does. Though both the versions are equally tasty, the tomato-based version ranks a lighter higher in our home. I have tried these without meat and adding beans in place of meat. Also, there are some veggies that can be substituted. 

Tender jackfruit is a great substitute for meat. It can be used in place of pulled pork or the chunks can be used to mimic pieces of meat or sausage. The processing of tender jackfruit can be tedious. I have posted the steps for processing earlier and linked here the same along with a couple of recipes. Traditionally we use jackfruit both ripe and tender ones. The tender young ones are used in curries and gravies. Fresh tender ones may be available in some Indian groceries. But frozen ones can be used too. I have used frozen tender jackfruit in this recipe. Canned ones can be great too, make sure it is tender ones and not the fruit. Growing up in a tropical climate, I have enjoyed these. There is a jackfruit tree in my mom's backyard, I am missing those here. The jackfruit seeds can be used too. They can be cooked as a single curry and could be added to curries and stews. I frequently add them in dal based curries (Pumpkin Curry / Kootu) and sambhar. 

How to Process Tender Jackfruit

Tender Jackfruit Cutlets

Tender Jackfruit Curry

Banana blossom could be used to mimic seafood. We use the blossom and make curries. They are available in most Indian groceries. My parent's backyard has many banana trees, many varieties (trying to grow here!). Again, the processing may take time. Beneath each purplish maroon bract, there are rows of florets that are yellow-tipped. They can be used in place of shrimp. The stamen in each floret has to be removed before cooking. The inner heart of the blossom can be used as a substitute for fish. 

So, with these substitutes it possible to make vegan food. In this vegan jambalaya, I have used kidney beans, frozen tender jackfruit, and banana blossom in this recipe. I have used a creole seasoning. You can use a store-bought one or just make your own and use it. Any rice grain can be used. Adjust the water according to the rice used. Also, try to substitute grains and explore the flavors. This is a one-pot meal, with carbs, proteins, and veggies - a satisfying meal indeed. This usually can feed a crowd and the following measurements easily serve 6-8 hungry persons. 

This is my post today for Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler! from #OurFamilyTable group. We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too! 


Serves 6-8

Rice - 1.5 cups
Kidney beans - 1/2 cup dried, or 1 14-oz can
Tender jackfruit - 1 cup, frozen
Banana florets - 20
Onions - 2 cups, sliced
Bell pepper - 1.5 cups, mixed colors, chopped
Celery - 1/2 cup, chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves
Creole seasoning - 1 tbsp
Salt - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Water - 4.5 to 5 cups


Soak the kidney beans for 8 hours if you not using canned ones. drain, rinse, add water, and pressure cook till done. Drain and keep aside.

Boil the frozen tender jackfruit for 5 min, drain and keep aside.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the chopped peppers, celery, banana florets, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. 

Add the crushed tomatoes, kidney beans,  tender jackfruit, water, salt, and seasoning. Bring it to a boil. Add the rice, when it is half cooked cover, lower the flame and continue cooking till all the water is completely absorbed and rice completely cooked (around 20 minutes). 

Garnish with cilantro of preferred and serve.

Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler! recipes shared today:


  1. WHat a great idea to use jackfruit! I keep seeing this done but haven't tried it myself.

  2. What a fabulous take on jambalaya! I've eaten jackfruit but never cooked with it.

  3. Thanks, Karen! Jackfruit - both ripe and unripe are great! You should try.

  4. I don't think I've ever used jackfruit. I'll have to try to find some. This looks delish!

  5. I am allergic to shellfish, and one of my daughters is a vegetarian, so jackfruit and beans sound perfect to us for this jambalaya!