Kunal Kapur's Restaurant Celebrates Summer-Special Jackfruit
Image Credit: Quarter Plate/ Instagram

Boasting yellow pulpy flesh and bumpy green rind, jackfruit is a summer tropical delight that is currently available in farmer’s markets in abundance. Despite its popularity, unique texture, and neutral flavour, the ingredient remains unexplored. “Jackfruit is indeed one of the least explored ingredients in the culinary world, especially outside of its native regions in Southeast Asia. Despite its rich nutritional profile and culinary flexibility, jackfruit has not gained as much global recognition as other tropical fruits like mango or pineapple,” said Chef Kunal Kapur while speaking about the ongoing jackfruit festival at his restaurant in Noida.

Shivansh Bhasin, who is the Head Chef at Quarter Plate by Kunal Kapur, added that the summer tropical ingredient remains unexplored because most people say that they don’t like its flavour. “However, there is no flavour in jackfruit. You have to infuse various notes to it to align it with your palate,” he said. 

Video Credit: Kunal Kapur/ YouTube

Both chefs agree that many Indians see it as an excellent replacement for meat. While Chef Bhasin said that it is “worth exploring,” Chef Kapur highlighted the importance of events like Jackfruit Festival in bringing the ingredient into the spotlight and encouraging masters in the culinary world as well as home chefs to explore its “unique flavour and texture”.

Jackfruit Festival At Quarter Plate, Noida, Featuring Unique Dishes

Image Credit: Quarter Plate/ Instagram

Chef Kunal Kapur introduced Noida to Quarter Plate in October 2023. He wanted to create a distinctive and innovative dining experience that was centred around the concept of Indian tapas. He wanted to blend the rich and vibrant flavours of Indian cuisine with the interactive and lively nature of small-plate dining.

The ongoing Jackfruit Festival at the restaurant has a special menu placed on each table. It features four dishes - Jackfruit Seekh Kebab, Jackfruit Nihari, Jackfruit Galouti, and Jackfruit Tawa Pulao. Even if you are not a fan of jackfruit, you must try all these dishes to surprise your taste buds with a unique symphony of flavours that they boast.

Image Credit: Quarter Plate/ Instagram

Start with jackfruit galouti, melt-in-the-mouth kebabs are served on a banana leaf and garnished with raw mango chutney, sour cream, and passion fruit chutney. Chef Shivansh Bhasin shared the secret behind its soft texture. He said, “After cooking jackfruit, we roast it in the combi oven because cooked jackfruit contains a lot of water. Roasting gives it the flavour.”

Post-tasting galoti, order jackfruit seekh kebabs that come dressed with crushed pistachio. The smoky flavour, crispy texture, and scrumptious filling will surprise your taste buds. Next order, jackfruit tawa pulao and nihari. Pulao comes with raita and gravy but it has a delectable palate standalone as well. 

Creating seekh kebab and nihari were a bit challenging but Quarter Plate’s team did justice to the star ingredient in both the delicacies. Speaking about jackfruit nihari, Chef Shivansh Bhasin said, “When anyone thinks of nihari, they imagine mutton in it. Acing the gravy was a challenge, and we overcame it by crafting it with just three ingredients - mustard oil, onion, and coriander.” It is served with zaatar sourdough kulcha, and when you try to break triangular pieces of jackfruit, it will give the impression of mutton.

Apart from the menu of the Jackfruit Festival, Quarter Plate has a lot to offer. The menu features refreshing cocktails and mocktails, unique desserts, popular Indian chaat presented with a modern touch, and lip-smacking savouries from across the country. A few dishes that are must-try here include hemp seed and watermelon salad, pull-apart pao bhaji, pineapple mousse chaat, and tres leches. Chef Kunal Kapur added, “Life is short - lick the plate and enjoy every moment at Quarter Plate.” 

Address: H-10/A, Tower E, SkymarkOne, Dist, Sector 98, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301

Timing: 12pm-11:30pm

Cost for two: Rs 2400 (without alcohol)

Chef Kunal Kapur And Chef Shivansh Bhasin Share Tips To Cook Jackfruit

Chef Kunal Kapur said, “Jackfruit is a nutritious and sustainable ingredient that has been underutilised in the culinary world." He shared his #Kunalish wisdom with Slurrp to help home chefs cook jackfruit to perfection. Here are a couple of them that you must keep in mind,

  • Pick the right jackfruit. A young and unripe one is best for savoury dishes because of its meat-like texture and neutral flavour and a ripe jackfruit is sweeter, therefore, it is perfect for desserts.
  • When making savouries, boil or pressure cook the jackfruit pieces until tender. This will make shredding easier and enhance its ability to absorb other flavours.
  • Marinate jackfruit with sauces and spices before cooking to infuse flavours into it. 
  • Jackfruit pairs well with bold sauces and spices, therefore, do not shy away from experimenting with seasoning to suit your palate.
  • Jackfruit has a naturally fibrous texture, hence, slow cooking methods like braising or simmering can help to achieve tender and succulent pieces. 

Chef Shivansh Bhasin, who has worked in restaurants in South India and the Middle East, shared that in the South, people deseed the jackfruit and roast the seeds in the oven. He added that you can add some salt or chaat masala and consume it like you eat makhana (fox nuts). He said, “One thing that I would like to say about jackfruit is that it is a versatile ingredient with which you can experiment and make a variety of delicacies.” Following the tips shared by both chefs, any home chef can explore potential of jackfruit and cook it potential.