Drab and smelly

I thought I would kill several birds with one stone... Stage a comeback on my own blog, for starters. Do Pel proud. (Anita, wipe that frown off your brow for it is an informal expression.) Introduce Medha to new tastes and smells. Take pictures like one obsessed - for Click - where it seems to be rather wind-y today.

I bought jackfruit. I paid $2.99/lb for this little chunk that weighed 2.35 lbs to be exact. Over $7. Plus tax. From which came maybe 20 pieces of pulp and even fewer seeds. Given how way too many bloggers had featured the jackfruit last year, I really don't know what I was thinking. No matter what I tried, the results were not enthusing. I even took some corny shots of the jackfruit in my dogwood tree with lovely bokeh in the background. The rind of the poor fruit started turning brown as every nook and cranny of my home quickly absorbed its sickly sweet smell. The natives also started getting restless, and were becoming increasingly biased against the fruit because of the odor fragrance. Then the sun did what it does every evening, a minute or so later each day now, and my home was infused with a warm golden glow.

Mothership

I also decided to push the boundaries a bit and make it look like nothing on this earth. Alien, if you will.
Alien

The jackfruit was done by this time, too! One critic called it drab, for lack of a better word. I was very amused because if he had been able to smell it, drab would have been farthest from his mind.

We ate the crunchy pulp after much rinsing. Milky sap covered my hands, my table, my plates and even on some parts of my camera. Intuitively, I rubbed my hands with vegetable oil and then washed them with warm soapy water and the sap washed off rather easily. That's a Handy Tip, people! I just don't fancy doing the same to my camera though.

I roasted the seeds but they weren't very popular. I am very hesitant to throw them into the trash. Maybe the birds will eat them?

The smell pervaded everything in the house. And to get rid of it, I did the next best thing: added another dimension to the smell. If the jackfruit is a sensational fruit from the land, then this is an exotic flower from the ocean. Baby cuttlefish. Come on! Stretch that imagination a little bit, will you

Flower from the Ocean - my entry for Click

Not everyone's smelly cup of tea. And certainly not spring bounty. But it is Au Naturel.

Cuttlefish are really mollusks and although they lack a skeleton, they do have a inner porous structure called the cuttlebone which is made of calcium carbonate. This provides them with buoyancy. Squids and octupi are also cuttlefish.

The natives became restless again, not sure which of the two was worse. Medha appreciated Jai's strategy of walking around with an agarbatti stuck to her nose. But it backfired when the strong artificial scent of jasmine almost sent her lungs into shock.

The cuttlefish is currently marinating in soya sauce, garlic and some mirin sauce. A quick stir fry might be in order, unless someone gives me a better idea.

I was trying to figure out which of these three pictures to send for Click - Au Naturel. Alien might be too weird, Flower of the Ocean is too strange and I can see several vegetarians being put off by it. And Mothership is just another staid shot of the jackfruit. I am not particularly inspired by any of these. Are you?

Updated: The Flower from the Ocean goes to Click. Thank you all for your input!

25 comments:

evolvingtastes said...

Don't even look at me, I think they are all fabulous pictures.

click said...

we want the pic of medha with the agarbati! the judges will give extra credit for that one (wink wink, nod nod) :-)
-jai

Manisha said...

ET, but I am looking straight at you! Come on!

Jai, believe me, the expression on her face would be Au Naturel!

KayKat said...

Haa haa haa! The image of Medha with the agarbati is hilarious :)

I agree with Jai, you should send that in!

Cynthia said...

I'd opt for the cuttlefish.

M said...

I like the third one, Mumma.

Kitt said...

Welcome back!

I like The Mothership.

Anita said...

I'm late as usual - but no. 3 gets my vote too!
Murgi toh jaan se gayi... and you are complaining about the odour?!

Srivalli said...

ok..finally you are back!..thats great...all the pictures look good..my vote for the 2nd!

Kalai said...

Welcome back! All the pics look wonderful. :)

Ashwini said...

Oooh someone's creative juices are in overflow along with the jackfruit's :) (I hope that doesnt sound too weird!!)

My grandma used to make a looooovely gravy vali dish with jackfruit seeds. I remember it tasted out of this WORLD. I have never made it but could always ask my mom if you are interested. I do remember it was as unique as olya kajuchi amti...(know that one?)

sunita said...

A bit late, but my choice would have been the cuttlefish too...and yes, Medha's priceless expression would have been probably great :-DD

Poornima said...

here is one recipe for cuttlefish which is yum.marinate fish with a paste of garlic,lots of fennel seeds chili and turmeric powder (all pasted) then fry with some green chillies on a VERY LOW HEAT for 20 minutes or more covered in a kadai if possible.

Pelicano said...

Um...yeah, you done me proud by selecting a select section of jacka-froota and possibly nibbling some, but....um....isn't Click! for food-bloggers? :-)

Siddharth said...

Hey Manisha, thanks for visiting my site BBQMasala.com. I just started it today so it is work in progress. But i couldnt wait to get started so i had to BLOG ;). BTW i love your recipes. Thanks again. TTYL

musical said...

Yup, cuttle fish would be my choice too (though the jackfruit pics are really looking good as well). Not a big fan of ripe jakcfruit, but raw jackfruit is quite a treat :).

michelle @ thursday night smackdown said...

the pictures are beautiful, although i'm not sure i'd want to actually eat any of those things!

Purnima said...

Lovely choice for AN-Click! Yummy phonasu,liked reading *drab* link, and tks for interrobang-intro -- new to me! :D Ahem..so u judge the contest after AuNaturel? Umm..me thinks u will..award winning entry, it is, 4 shurrre! (N I love the fragrance of JF!!)

Anita said...

You are back! Yay! We were so missing your fab pics and posts-without-recipes! :D
Though some have been saying the other blog suits you...I am truly ousted!

Manisha said...

Kaykat, see! I am a wiz! The visual picture I painted was more popular than the ones I posted!

Cynthia, thanks! I did!

M, what would I do without you?

Kitt, thanks! The duo of Jugalbandi cracked their whip and said that any entry - besides KayKat's - that reaches them after midnight will not be considered. And that, too, midnight Eastern Time. Looks like they are suffering from some bug cos I think Mountain Time - which is the zone they are in, too - is just perfect! :-D

Anita, I don't think it was the freshest of all cuttlefish, you know? It really should not smell that much. Some of it was even bitter which explains the odor, I guess.

Srivalli, yup! Thanks!

Kalai, thank you!

Ashwini, I had to stifle all the memories to bring myself to bring that thing home. I did want to introduce Medha to a new taste and flavor. And I am so glad she is not in love with jackfruit. She loves mango though!

I know olya kajuchi amti and it was yum! Only had it in Goa though. The jackfruit seeds were roasted so I am not sure the amti will work now.
:-(

Sunita, great minds think alike! Thank you!

Poornima, thanks for that recipe! I have saved it for the next time I get good quality cuttlefish. In general, I was disappointed with what I bought.

Pel, Click is for strange animals. Even you can send in an entry. :-D

Siddarth, I am glad you delurked! Looking forward to your barbecue recipes!

Musy, cuttlefish and you‽ Wow! Nirphanas or unripe jackfruit is supposed to be a delicacy. I got such an overdose when I was at a very impressionable age that I haven't eaten it since.

Michelle, you must try jackfruit at least once, in my opinion. And, cuttlefish is very like squid, which if cooked well has an excellent texture.

Purnima, yes, the interrobang is a cool thing. I wonder if they have it on SMS. That would save those texting-freaks one whole character. Imagine that! As for award winning? I doubt it. :-D

Anita, the drab brown color suits this drab post, you mean‽ Recipes? For ripe jacfruit? Eat it. Jackfruit seeds? Roast them. Cuttlefish were marinated. Three-in-one post! Your life is made and the next 3 posts need no recipes. Hallelujah!

Chitra said...

Hi-the cuttlefish without a doubt!!Have been visiting your blog since a while now, but haven't left any comment yet!!:-D I love jackfruit, but can't have too much of it!!:-( Doesn't suit me at all! In Kerala, we make a lovely curry with the seeds of the ripe jackfruit-after sun-drying them--and also a dry "Sukka" dish -- I can send you the recipes if you like. Love your way with words and am frankly envious of your presentation skills!! Keep it up! Will keep coming back for more...Cheers, Chitra

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Aparna said...

Interesting pictures. The second one looks like a new species of animal!:)
This is not a comment on your picture taking ability (they're good), by the way.
I am just an aberration in the south Indian population that doesn't go ga-ga over the jackfruit.
I find it smelly, sticky (I refuse to clean and cut it)and refuse to eat it as fruit or cooked. I make exceptions only with jackfruit wafers and home-made jam (chakkavaratti).
And the cuttle fish, I can only plead that I am vegetarian.

Mansi Desai said...

hahahhaa..that "alien" representation is just too good Manisha!

Sumi said...

great picture manisha.
today my quota of 30mins of blogging has been swept away by solely your bolg!:)
I enjoyed it.