Fenugreek is a lesser known Indian spice with a strong aroma and a bitter taste. Mash leaves and sprinkle over curries and dry vegetable dishes just before serving for an unforgettable flavor. Commonly used as a substitute for fresh methi leaves in aloo methi, a dry vegetable dish that combines potatoes with these leaves.
Also known as kathal. Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, reaching 80 pounds in weight and up to 36 inches long and 20 inches in diameter. The exterior of the compound fruit is green or yellow when ripe. The interior consists of large edible bulbs of yellow, banana-flavored flesh that encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown seed. The seed is 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick and is white and crisp within. There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit, which are viable for no more than three or four days. When fully ripe, the unopened jackfruit emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.
Striped gourd. Available in Indian grocery stores.
Jaggery is commonly known as ‘gur’ or ‘gud’ and is made of dehydrated sugar cane juice. This rich, caramel like sweetener melts fast with a little heat and is often used as a substitute for sugar in kheer and the South Indian payasam. An important ingredient in many festival dishes, jaggery is also used to form the sweet and sour tamarind chutney used in chaat.
Confectioner’s sugar is also called powdered sugar, and icing sugar in the United Kingdom. White granulated sugar is very finely ground, sifted and mixed with about 1% to 3% starch, cornstarch, or calcium phosphate to keep it dry and to prevent caking. 10X (ultra fine or superfine) is the finest powder and what you will find on your supermarket shelves. Bakers and confectioners are the only ones who have use most other grades such as 4X (fine) and 6X (very fine). If you have no confectioner’s sugar, you can put some granulated (regular) sugar in a blender with a pinch of cornstarch and process it.