Howard Johnson hosts a special Jackfruit food festival
This season, while most of us relish the rich and calorie-intense king of fruits — mango, the gigantic fruit from the fig family — jackfruit is often ignored. A native fruit of the Western Ghats, jack (as it is referred to by botanists), may not be a favourite like the mango, but it is versatile enough to take on different forms. Chef Chakradhar D from Howard Johnson has drawn up a special Jack of All Tastes menu to celebrate the fruit. The spread is an elaborate assortment of starters, mains and desserts. It’s evident the chef has given a lot of thought to present a menu that focuses on elements from across India.
We began with the Jackfruit seed and asparagus cream soup, Katal (jackfruit) and aloo parantha and jackfruit burger. The understated flavour of jackfruit in the soup is what surprised us.
The flavour of toasted jackfruit seeds combined well with the earthy undertones of asparagus. The combination of katal and aloo work well together in the parantha. However, it was the jackfruit burger that wowed us. The fruit has been used generously in the burger patty. The crunchiness of the fruit makes this dish worth every bite.
East to South
We then moved to mains. The chef has tried to experiment with three signature dishes from different cuisines in India — Jackfruit aloo posto (West Bengal), Jackfruit mango curry with coconut milk (Mangalore) and Kheema phanas (Orissa). All the three experiments, we say, fare well. The posto was a tad bit spicy, but the jackfruit mango curry cut down the spice with its sweet notes. The Kheema phanas was the star of the show. We love the pairing of crisp, fried kheema with the soft jackfruit chunks. Katal biryani was served next. This certainly scores above other vegetarian biryanis.
The line-up of dishes that came next delighted us even more — Jackfruit shahi tukda, a layered jackjackfruit cake and Jackfruit mousse. The rabdi poured over the shahi tukda made with jackfruit puree left us craving more. The dish is a must-try because the jackfruit flavour is not too pronounced. The jackfruit mousse is a decent dish, but it’s the layered cake that cannot be missed. Boasting jackfruit pieces in between layers of fluffy sponge, this is the freshest dessert we’ve had in a while. The many different forms in which this fruit can be eaten and cooked left us amused.
Rs 666 per person for lunch. At HBR Layout. Details: 46467000