This Jamaican curried jackfruit is a one pot wonder that’s packed with meaty chunks of jackfruit and vibrant spices. It’s our take on a vegan curried goat, with jackfruit taking centre stage. Big Caribbean flavours like allspice and thyme shine in the coconut milk and tomato sauce – just like in our Jamaican chickpea curry.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Big fans of Carribean and Jamaican flavours – I’ve been a big fan of Jamaican food for longer than I can remember, so I’m familiar with the spices and flavours. We also like to compare our Jamaican-inspired dishes to similar ones served at one of our favourite restaurants, Fi Real (in Bristol, UK). If we don’t think they’d serve it, it still needs work! We love this curried jackfruit and think it’d pass the Fi Real test!
- Authentic flavours – Jamaican curry powder, fresh thyme and allspice. They’re big flavours used in Jamaican cooking and we use them in this recipe to pack in some authenticity. There’s a lot of Indian influence in Jamaican curries, but don’t be mistaken, they’ve taken the Indian style of curry and given it a new life.
- We use a lot of jackfruit – so we know what we’re doing with it. For this recipe we wanted to replicate big chunks of meat to make a vegan goat curry, so it’s straight out of the tin, no chopping required. A decent cook time makes it juicy and succulent, and it really takes on the flavours of the sauce. If you love jackfruit, you should probably check out our Indonesian jackfruit rendang, jackfruit curry with rogan josh style sauce, jackfruit fajitas and jerk jackfruit wrap. And don’t forget to stop by our article featuring the best tinned jackfruit recipes too.
- One pot wonder – so you know it’s a simple recipe. As with so many of our recipes, all you need to do is fry off some ingredients, add the liquid and simmer away. Less washing up, less hassle, so more time to enjoy your Jamaican curried jackfruit.
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Young jackfruit – we use tinned jackfruit because we’re not fortunate enough to live in a country where we can get it fresh. Look out for young or green jackfruit in water in the canned goods aisle at the supermarket. Unripe jackfruit is fairly bland in taste and takes on flavours well for replicating meat, ideal for making a vegan goat curry. Be careful not to buy ripe jackfruit though – it’s similar to mango and is sweet, so it wouldn’t be great in this curry! Did you know that Chinese style jackfruit makes a great vegan beef and broccoli alternative?
- Jamaican curry powder – rather than the Indian variety. Spices that make up curry powders can vary hugely. Not just between countries but between different regions too. Jamaican curry powders are often very heavy in turmeric and usually feature allspice. It has a distinct flavour profile that you won’t find anywhere else. You can substitute in an Indian one, but don’t expect an authentic Jamaican curried jackfruit experience.
- Allspice / pimento – we use ground allspice, although the whole berry is often used. It’s known as pimento in Jamaica and is a big flavour in Jamaican curries. The Jamaican curry powder in our cupboard doesn’t have much allspice in it, but if yours does, leave this out until you’ve tasted it. If it tastes good without the allspice, then you won’t need to add it.
- Fresh thyme – you might think thyme is for roast potatoes or meat joints, but you’ll probably reevaluate when you’ve sampled it in a Jamaican jackfruit curry! Best to grab it fresh, the dried stuff just doesn’t hit the same.
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements to make this curried jackfruit recipe.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for this recipe. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1. Pour a good glug of oil into a large saucepan or sauté pan and bring to a medium-high heat. Fry the onion for 4-5 minutes until it has softened.
2. Now add the spices and allow them to cook for a minute whilst stirring.
3. Throw in the garlic, ginger, chilli and stir for another minute.
4. Stir in the tomato puree, then pour in the coconut milk and tinned tomatoes. Stir well until it becomes a rich orange colour.
5. Add in the thyme sprigs. Bring the mix up to a simmer.
6. Once simmering, pop in the jackfruit and potatoes and stir it all together. Bring back up to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Season generously with salt (to taste).
8. Remove the sprigs of thyme and then serve! Curried jackfruit goes great with rice and peas.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Use the right spices – you won’t get that authentic curried jackfruit flavour without Jamaican curry powder. We’ve found it in the ethnic aisle of UK supermarkets or online.
- Scotch bonnet – if you can find one, grab a fresh scotch bonnet chilli to use. It’s a classic choice to use in Jamaican cooking and adds a beautiful fruity flavour as well as some heat to the curried jackfruit.
- Young jackfruit – keep an eye out for tins of young or green jackfruit in water. Supermarkets in the UK have started stocking it now, but it’s also worth checking out your local Asian supermarket. Our local one sells bigger tins for a better price! It’s important to get the unripe, young or green jackfruit when cooking, because the ripe jackfruit is sweet like mango.
- Storage – this curried jackfruit will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days, or 3 months in the freezer. The big chunks of jackfruit keep their texture and reheat well. If freezing, just make sure to defrost before using and reheat thoroughly.
As jackfruit is a fruit, it doesn’t need to be cooked. However, unripe jackfruit doesn’t have much flavour, so it benefits from being cooked for at least 5-10 minutes in a sauce or spices to take on flavour. It’s even better when cooked for a lot longer. The jackfruit in this recipe simmers in the sauce for a good 30 minutes to really soak the flavours up and get nice and juicy.
We’d recommend sourcing a Jamaican curry powder to achieve the best flavour. We have tested the recipe with an Indian one and, while it does taste good, it tastes more like an Indian curry than a Jamaican style curried jackfruit.
Unripe jackfruit, usually used in cooking as a meat replacement, doesn’t have much of a flavour at all. It’s perfect for absorbing flavours during the cooking process. In contrast, ripe jackfruit is a sweet, tropical fruit that’s similar to mango.
Yes, this Jamaican curried jackfruit recipe freezes well. It will keep in the freezer fine for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat thoroughly when preparing it.
🍛 What to serve with it:
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Jamaican Curried Jackfruit
- 1 onion – chopped
- 0.5 tbsp ginger – finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves – finely diced
- 1 green chilli – finely diced
- 5 tbsp Jamaican curry powder
- 1 tsp allspice
- 0.25 tsp white pepper
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 400 g chopped tomatoes – 1 tin
- 800 g young jackfruit – 2 x 400g tins, drained and rinsed
- 400 g potatoes – peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks
- Pour a good glug of oil into a large saucepan or sautée pan and bring to a medium-high heat. Fry the onion for 4-5 minutes until it has softened.1 onion
- Throw in the garlic, ginger, chilli and stir for another minute.0.5 tbsp ginger, 2 garlic cloves, 1 green chilli
- Now add the curry powder, allspice and white pepper. Allow the spices to cook for a minute whilst stirring.5 tbsp Jamaican curry powder, 1 tsp allspice, 0.25 tsp white pepper
- Stir in the tomato puree, then pour in the coconut milk, tinned tomatoes and add the thyme sprigs. Bring the mix up to a simmer.2 tbsp tomato puree, 400 ml coconut milk, 400 g chopped tomatoes, 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- Once simmering, pop in the jackfruit and potatoes and stir it all together. Bring back up to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.800 g young jackfruit, 400 g potatoes
- Season with salt (to taste), remove the sprigs of thyme and serve.
- Make sure to use young jackfruit, also known as unripe or green jackfruit.
- Jamaican curry powder is a must to achieve the right flavour. You can use an Indian curry powder, but you’ll get a different tasting curry.
- Spice it up by adding more fresh chilli, or completely omit the chilli for a mild curry. Or remove the seeds and membrane for less heat.
- Keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- If using dried thyme, use 1 teaspoon.
- If you don't have a scotch bonnet chilli, a red chilli works well too.
Jess & Dan
Thanks so much Sam!