Saturday, January 28, 2023

Vegan Jackfruit Kofta Curry

This is a delicious and comforting vegan kofta curry made with jackfruit and is a perfect replacement to your traditional malai kofta. This is also a soy-free recipe and is a great side to serve with naans and kulchas.

Jackfruit kofta curry is as delicious as paneer curry. In this vegan curry, you’ll not miss the sweetness or creaminess in any way. This recipe uses a couple of veggies that adds to the nutrition profile of this curry and is also a great way to sneak some veggies to your kids. Along with jackfruit sweet potatoes and black eyed peas are added. The black eyed peas add to the proteins, while sweet potatoes in addition to the nutrition it adds, it also helps in shaping the koftas. 

Jackfruit, when it is ripe, is the ultimate fruit to me just like mangoes. The unripe ones are great to use in curries or rice. When I was young, our backyard had a jackfruit tree and enjoyed amazing ripe ones and unripe jackfruit in delicious recipes. Vegan Tender Jackfruit Curry is one of my childhood favorites, and try these Vegan Tender Jackfruit Cutlets for a delicious appetizer or snack. Here, we do not get fresh tender jackfruit all the time, but frozen ones are available all the time in Indian groceries. This recipe too uses frozen unripe jackfruit. The fresh ones look spiky and may look hard to process but here is a guide to do it easily. The jackfruit seed is also edible and try this creamy curry or Vegan Jackfruit Seed Pulao with jackfruit seeds. 

What makes this vegan curry creamy?

This is a very creamy curry just like its dairy based counterpart. Vegan cream or coconut is not used in the recipe. The added cashew yogurt and cashews (and one more ingredient which we will see next) in this curry base makes it so creamy and divine. In  this way some beneficial vitamins are added to the diet. Cashew yogurt is available in many grocery chains and it is a great one to use in vegan recipes. Try these Cashew Yogurt and Potato Muffins. The base is made with simple spices, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes. This curry is very much similar to the curry base in Labne and Roasted Corn Masala, labne is replaced with cashew yogurt.


The final fortification of nutrients in this curry is the addition of date sugar. Most of the dairy based creamy curries use a little sugar to sweeten the curry. Date sugar is nothing but powdered dry dates. Since dates are a great source of iron, adding this to foods results in a fortified version. This also adds to the creaminess of the curry. If you are wondering what else you could add date sugar to, try these Date Sugar Walnut Cookies and Chocolatey Whole Wheat Date Sugar Banana Bread for  wonderful snacks.

Can this be made ahead?

The curry base can be made ahead, and the kofta can be prepped ahead. Just fry them and add to the curry if you are planning to make for a crowd as the recipe can be easily doubled. The koftas can also be fried and refrigerated. Warm the koftas as well as the curry and add the koftas to the curry just before serving.4

What to serve with this curry?

If you are wondering what to serve this curry with, naan breads, kulchas, stuffed kulchas or parathas are perfect pairs. Simple everyday flatbread pairs well and I serve it that way more often. It can be served with a simple Jeera Rice too!

Vegan food doesn’t mean boring food. There are tons of interesting soups and main course foods that are vegan and delicious. Check for some vegan noodle recipes around the world, and for rasam recipes. Here are a few more addictive vegan recipes from the blog.

Lumina Pumpkin Olan

Vegan Pumpkin Halwa

Vegan Butternut Squash and Chipotle Chili

Medhu Vada

Curried Carrot and Red Pepper Soup

Vegan Coconut Gingerbread Muffins

This month in our Shhhh Cooking Secretly  group, we are sharing vegan recipes that could be appetizer, main, side, snack, or dessert. In this group, we partner up with a fellow buddy and give secret ingredients to each other. Jayashree of Evergreendishes is my partner and the Tuvar Capsicum Masala is a great vegan side to make. I gave her fresh lilva or pigeon peas and salt as the secret ingredients and she made these delicious kachoris. She gave me bay leaf and garam masala and I made this curry. When I grew up, most of the everyday food we had were vegan. Occasional ghee and butter based dishes were also there for festive meals. It is possible to have interesting vegan version of regular recipes that are equally tasty. This jackfruit kofta curry is an excellent replacement to the malai kofta curry. 

I am also linking this to Sundays on Silverado, Happiness is Homemade, and What’s For Dinner.

Serves 7-12

Jackfruit - 1.5 cups
Black eyed peas - 1/4 cup
Sweet potatoes - 1 cup steamed and mashed
Cashew flour - 2 tbsp
Thai chili - 1
Ginger - 1 tsp
Garlic - 1 clove
Onions - 2 tbsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 1 tbsp
Oil to deep fry

Curry Base

Onions - 1 cup, chopped
Tomatoes - 1.5 cups, chopped
Ginger - 1.5-in piece
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cashews - 10
Cashew yogurt - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 4 cloves
Kashmiri red chili - 4 to 5
Cinnamon - 1-in piece 
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 1
Bay leaves - 1
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Green chili - 1


Oil - 1 tbsp
Onions - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Garlic 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Water - 2.5 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Date sugar - 5 tbsp


Add the frozen jackfruit to a bowl and add water until it immerses. Cook on a medium flame for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain and set the cooked jackfruit chunks aside.

Add the drained jackfruit, green chili, cayenne, turmeric, onions, black eyed peas, garlic, salt, and ginger. Pulse to a coarse texture. 

Transfer this to a bowl. Add the sweet potatoes, kasoori methi, cilantro, cashew flour, and combine well. Take about one and a half to two tablespoons of this mixture and shape into 14 balls.

Heat oil over medium flame. Add the koftas carefully and deep fry flipping the sides for about 3-4 minutes. Drain the excess oil on a paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the koftas. Set aside.

For the Curry Base: In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil. Add cinnamon, cloves, cumin, bay leaves and let it bloom for 30 seconds.

Add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chili and the Kashmiri red chilies. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onions turn translucent.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and cashews. Mix and cover, cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the flame and cool.

When the mixture is cool, add the cashew yogurt and blend to a smooth puree.

For the Curry: Heat oil in a pan, add the onions, ginger, and garlic, and sauté for 4-5 minutes.

Add the blended curry base, followed by turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, salt, fennel powder. Mix thoroughly.

Rinse the blender with a cup of water (no wasting), and add it to the curry. Add the remaining one and a half cup water and date sugar. Mix thoroughly and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl. Add the koftas. Garnish with some kasoori methi. Serve with naan or any flatbread.


  1. I've yet to try making a curry with jackfruit. Your vegan jackfruit kofta curry has turned out so creamy and tempting. I'll have to try and source some frozen jackfruit to give this recipe a try.

  2. Wow this looks so good. I too love ripe jackfruit and with unripe ones make a few veggies. I would love to try this and loved the addition of black eyed peas in the curry. Looks super tempting.

  3. am always on the lookout for good vegan curries for everyday Rotis / Naan, this raw tender jackfruit curry has me salivating ! so delish !

  4. Very innovative recipe! The kofta curry looks super delicious. 🙂 I love the addition of sweet potatoes and cashew yogurt.

  5. Loved the way you have used jackfruit to make this curry. I must try this one, never made with jackfruit. Looks good.

  6. Jackfruit Kofta Curry is an unbelievable twist and innovative choice of ingredient for a kofta . Also the entire recipe is very unique as you have used cashew yogurt for the creamy texture. Beautiful color of the gravy..

  7. I am literally drooling at that kadai of kofta curry. If you keep quiet, nobody would even make out that it is vegan! So amazing... Love the use of jackfruit...

  8. We always associate kofta with malai kofta. These raw jackfruit koftas sounds interesting. They do have black eyed peas and sweet potatoes which make them healthier alternatives to malai ones. Would love to try these.

  9. Jackfruit kofta curry looks so rich and creamy. I am yet to make koftas with jackfruit. Will definitely try it sometime soon. Very tempting curry Radha.— Preethi

  10. loved the addition of black eyed peas in the curry....Jackfruit kofta curry looks so rich and creamy.