Gulai Nangka / Gulai Cubadak (Pressure Cooker Young Jackfruit Curry) – Learn how to make the best Indonesian-style young jackfruit curry (gulai nangka) in your pressure cooker (or stove top). This will become your favorite dish.
GULAI NANGKA / GULAI CUBADAK
There are many versions of gulai nangka accross different regions in Indonesia. They don’t differ by much, but each region does have its own taste. This particular gulai nangka I have in this post is one of the popular gulai in West Sumatra, the Minang ethnic in particular. Actually, the translation of curry may not be super accurate to describe gulai. Curry is such a general term. Gulai is not as thick and creamy as regular curry. They are usually made to go with other entrees and side dishes.
NANGKA MUDA (CUBADAK)
Young jackfruit is what we call nangka muda (cubadak) in Indonesia. Jackfruit has gained significant popularity in recent years. We are not referring to the yellow sweet jackfruit that has ripened.
Ripen jackfruit has a very strong aroma (well, to some people “odor”) I guess it’s either you like it or you don’t, I happen to like it. The young jackfruit doesn’t have any strong aroma, if at all.
Nangka muda is considered as “vegetable” in Indonesia. It is cooked almost like in the presentation of curry dish or made into gudeg. Here in the U.S., (at least where I am), I can only get nangka muda packed in cans. Make sure you choose the one packed in water and not in brine.
WHY I LIKE TO COOK THIS GULAI NANGKA IN PRESSURE COOKER
It’s only one pot and I like the fact that I can set and forget
2. Tender and maintain its form
I like that the jackfruits are fork-tender when you pierce them, but they are not falling apart into mush when being cooked. The same thing with the long beans and red beans. This is one thing I notice when I cook with the pressure cooker
THIS RECIPE VERSUS TRADITIONAL GULAI NANGKA
1. Use of red kidney beans
Traditional gulai nangka doesn’t use red kidney beans. Some people like to use beef in this gulai nangka. My son loves beans and while I still want a sort of “complete” meal, I include some meatless protein like kidney beans in this recipe. You can opt out if you don’t want to.
2. The color
I did not use any chili in this recipe because of my kids and that’s why the gulai nangka appears to be more at the yellowish side (thanks to turmeric) instead of orangish in color (a mixture of turmeric and chili).
GULAI NANGKA IS SUITABLE FOR MEAL PLANNING
If you cook in a big batch, leave the coconut milk out. Coconut milk tends to separate when you freeze it. Portion the gulai nangka out into the amount you like and they can be frozen for up to 1 month or keep at the refrigerator for about 3 days. When reheating, you can go straight from freezer to pot and then bring to a boil, add about 1/4 cup or so of coconut milk. Stir to mix and turn off the heat.
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*Recipe is written for 6-quart Instant Pot. Cooking time should remain the same for 8-quart size but will take longer to pressurize. For mini duo (3-quart), I recommend to half the recipe and use the same amount of time to cook*
Gulai Nangka / Gulai Cubadak (Pressure Cooker Young Jackfruit Curry)
- 500 gr young jackfruit
- 250 gr long beans/snake beans or use regular green beans
- 200 gr canned red beans
- 3 Tbsp cooking oil
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups coconut milk
Ingredients to grind:
- 8 shallots peeled
- 5 garlic peeled
- 5 Thai chili more if you want it spicier
- 10 cayenne chili pepper
- 3 Fresno chili pepper
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 2 tsp galangal powder
- 1 Tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 medium cinnamon stick
- 1 Tbsp coriander powder
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 2 Tbsp Better-than-bouillon or 1 cube of chicken bouillon
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 4 Tbsp palm sugar or coconut sugar
Prepare the jackfruit, long beans, and red beans:
- I use canned jackfruit packed in water. Don't get the want pack in brine, as it will be salty. Drain off the liquid and briefly rinse with clean water. Set aside
- Cut the long beans into 2-3 inch pieces. Same thing if you are subbing with regular green beans
- Drain off liquid from canned red beans. Rinse the red beans with clean water. Set aside
Cooking with instant pot:
- Press saute on your instant pot. Add 3 Tbsp of oil to inner pot. When it says hot, add the ground ingredients, spices, and herbs. Saute for about 5 minutes. The spices will turn darker in color, that's normal, just don't let them burn
- Add in jackfruit, long bean pieces, and red beans. Stir to mix everything. Pour in the water. Add better-than-bouillon (or chicken bouillon). Stir again to mix. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press "pressure cooker", "high pressure" and set the timer to 15 minutes
- When the timer is up, wait 5 minutes and then release pressure. Stir in coconut milk and seasoning. Stir to mix everything. The residual heat will heat up the coconut milk. Have a taste and add more salt and/or sugar to your taste
Cooking on stove-top:
- Preheat a large heavy-bottom pot with 3 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add the ground ingredients, spices, and herbs. Saute for about 5 minutes. The spices will turn darker in color, that's normal, just don't let them burn
- Add in jackfruit, long bean pieces, and red beans. Stir to mix everything. Pour in the water. Add better-than-bouillon (or chicken bouillon). Stir again to mix. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it gently simmer until the jackfruit is really tender, it can easily break apart when you pierce with a fork, about 30 minutes
- When jackfruit is tender, stir in coconut milk and seasoning. Turn off the heat. Have a taste and add more salt and/or sugar to your taste
I was so excited to find this recipe. Love it! Especially excited to find an authentic Indonesian recipe feasible for a Westerner.
It was straightforward and I enjoyed it. Plus my kitchen smelled amazing! Unfortunately I did have to make two changes that I think diluted the final flavor. First of all, I removed the cardamom, bay leaves and cloves before adding the jackfruit and water. It seemed like they’d be impossible to find later. But it made me sad because I knew they had more flavor to give. When do you do it?
Also, 4 cups of water didn’t nearly cover the jackfruit so I added 2 more cups. I just assumed they had all to be at least touching the water? Again, I think it diluted the flavor.
Hi Jelena, You definitely want to keep the spices and herbs in there until the end of cooking. I know it may be hard to find later. Another option is you can put the spices and herbs in the cheesecloth and tied them up and you can toss it in the end of cooking. AND my apology that I just realized I made a mistake by typing in 1 kg for Jackfruit. It supposed to be 1 pound (lb), which is about 450-500 gr for jackfruit. doh! If you ended up adding more water, you can always add more seasonings to match up