Guyanese Katahar Curry is one of my favorite vegan dishes; a coconut milk-based stew of katahar fruit simmered with rich spices. This instant pot recipe is a convenient way to make one of the 7 curries.
Guyanese Katahar Curry
Before I made this dish, I hadn’t eaten katahar in over 13 years because it was never in season when I visited Guyana. When I lived in New York, I rarely longed for Guyanese food because it was so readily available.
A few weeks ago while visiting my mom, we went shopping in little Guyana and what did I see on a vegetable stand on Liberty Avenue? Katahar of course! So I bought two katahar/s, packed them in my suitcase and brought them to Denver.
- Guyanese Katahar Curry
- Why You’ll Love This Guyanese Katahar Curry Recipe
- What is Katahar?
- Ingredients for Katahar Curry
- How to Make Katahar Curry
- Tips for the Best Katahar Curry
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Guyanese Katahar Curry
Why You’ll Love This Guyanese Katahar Curry Recipe
- Convenient: Fresh katahar takes a while to prepare because it takes prep work and requires extending cooking time to properly soften. This recipe offers a few shortcuts, from frozen katahar to quicker cooking in the Instant Pot.
- A Meatless Meal: This nutrient-dense fruit doubles as a meat replacement. It’s rich in carbs and fiber but it’s low in fat.
- Culinary Tradition: This dish is a cultural staple, as it’s often served at Hindu weddings and religious ceremonies.
What is Katahar?
Katahar is a fruit in the jackfruit family. In fact, many mistake it for jackfruit (known as kowah in Guyana).
The young/green katahar is usually cooked like a vegetable, in a coconut curry broth. The mature/ripe katahar is used only for its seeds (Guyanese people refer to it as breadnut), that are boiled and eaten as a nutty, meaty snack.
Ingredients for Katahar Curry
You can use fresh or frozen katahar for this recipe.
- Katahar: You want a green, unripe katahar for this recipe. This starchy tropical fruit has a texture similar to potatoes when cooked. In this recipe, it’s peeled, and the flesh is separated into tiny strips, while the nuts/seeds are peeled and cut into halves.
- Aromatics: Onions and a subtle sweetness while garlic cloves provide a savory flavor.
- Spices & Seasoning: I use an aromatic blend of curry powder, granulated garlic, geera, garam masala, and salt.
- Oil: Any neutral cooking oil (e.g., vegetable oil or canola oil) is suitable for sautéing the curry paste.
- Coconut milk: This adds a rich, creamy texture to the curry, balancing the spicy flavors.
- Water: Use this to pressure cook the katahar until tender.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Katahar Curry
I should state as a disclaimer that katahar is quite time consuming to cook, from peeling, to the actually cooking, it takes like 2 to 3 hours, if you’re lucky. So I let the katahar sit in my refrigerator for almost 3 weeks, putting off cooking it every time I saw it in the fridge. Sadly, when I finally decided to cook it, one of them was completely rotten and the other one was salvageable but a bit brown.
How to Prepare Katahar
First, you will need to peel off the tough green skin from the Katahar. Then, separate the “flesh” from the seeds/nuts.
You must remove the outer shell from the seeds. Finally, shred the flesh into tiny strips and cut the seeds/nuts into halves.
Make a Curry Paste
Prepare a curry paste by adding 1 onion, 6 cloves of garlic, and 2 tablespoons of water to the food processor and blending until finely chopped. Then combine 1 tablespoon of granulated garlic, 1 tablespoon of geera (ground roasted cumin), 1 tablespoon of garam masala, 2 tablespoons of curry powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Then mix it together to form a curry paste.
Cook curry paste in a pressure cooker (without the lid on, just like you would a sauce pot) on medium heat, with about 3 tablespoons of oil.
When most of the liquids have evaporated from the paste and the curry is almost brown in color, add the katahar.
Add 5 cups of water and pressure cook until the flesh and nuts are melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Once the katahar cooks, add 2 cups of coconut milk and salt to taste. Then, reduce the heat. Let simmer (without pressure lid on) until the broth thickens, about 10-15 minutes.
Cool leftovers to room temperature before placing them in an airtight container and refrigerating. Consume it within 4 days. To reheat, cook over medium heat on the stovetop until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water or coconut milk to loosen up the mixture.
Tips for the Best Katahar Curry
- Save time by peeling and preparing the katahar the night before cooking. It took me about an hour to peel the little katahar I had.
- You can add more spices or pepper to the curry paste. I have a pretty good curry powder that has loads of spices so I often don’t add anything else to my curry paste.
- I used coconut milk as a thickening agent towards the end of cooking. I did this because I didn’t want the curry to lose the richness of the coconut milk as it pressure cooked.
- This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it recipe. Monitor the katahar curry. I had to check my pressure cooker 3 times and add a bit more water before the katahar was fully cooked. It pressure-cooked for about 1 hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Katahar has a mild, sweet taste and a potato-like consistency, that becomes tender and creamy when cooked. Its subtle taste makes it perfect for curry because it absorbs the rich flavor of the spices.
“Seven Curry” is a Guyanese rice dish cooked with 7 different curries: typically katahar, baigan (eggplant), eddoes, pumpkin, spinach, channa (chickpeas), and aloo. It’s traditionally served on banana leaves.
To clean katahar, peel the skin using a knife or vegetable peeler. Cut the fruit into sections, removing the core and seeds. If using the seeds, remove the white film surrounding them. Then rinse the katahar pieces under cold water, and if desired, soak them briefly to reduce sapiness. Finally, pat them dry before cooking.
Guyanese Katahar Curry
- Instant Pot
- 1 medium katahar peeled and prepared
- 1 onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp geera
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 5 cups water for pressure cooking
- Peel and separate katahar flesh and nuts/seeds. Peel nuts and cut into halves. Shred flesh into tiny strips.
- Prepare a curry paste by combining onion and garlic in a food processor with about 2 tbsp water. Then add curry powder, granulated garlic, geera, salt and garam masala to processed onion and garlic.
- Add oil to a pressure cooker on medium heat, with lid off. When oil is hot, add curry paste. Saute curry paste until the liquid evaporated and curry is almost brown in color.
- Then, add katahar, followed by water. Increase heat to high, add lid and pressure cook until flesh and seeds are tender.
- When katahar is fully cooked add coconut milk and a bit more salt to taste (of needed). Reduce heat and let simmer until curry broth thickens.
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.