Jackfruit Tacos with Pickled Onions & Cilantro Chutney

These Vegan Jackfruit Tacos are cooked with aromatic spices and served with cilantro chutney and pickled onions! They are jam packed with flavors and made in the Instant Pot!
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If you looking for a new way to enjoy Jackfruit, then look no further than these Jackfruit Tacos! Cooked with aromatic spices and served with cilantro chutney and pickled onions, these tacos are jam packed with flavors. These are made in the Instant Pot and are also vegan!

tacos filled with jackfruit and topped with pickled onion and cilantro chutney

I grew up eating kathal (that’s what we call jackfruit in Hindi) mainly in 2 ways- kathal ki sabzi which was basically jackfruit cooked with spices, onion, tomatoes and my mom’s famous jackfruit and chana dal kebabs.

There was also an occasional pulao but more or less these were the 2 most common things that mom made with jackfruit. Sarvesh on the other hand didn’t eat jackfruit at all. It was just not made in his house.

In India, of course it was always fresh jackfruit that was used. Here, I often have to use canned jackfruit. The fresh jackfruit that we get here is mostly the ripe and sweet one and that cannot be used in the kind of recipes that I want to cook with jackfruit. One day, I hope to find unripe green jackfruit here!

The canned green jackfruit actually works quite well. I used it this time to make these Jackfruit Tacos and let me tell you guys, these tacos are just so flavorful. These are some of the best tacos I have made and I make a lot of them!

These jackfruit tacos are inspired from the several Indian inspired jackfruit tacos I have had recently at Indian restaurants in Seattle and also in New York. I absolutely loved the tacos that I had at a restaurant named GupShup in NYC recently. They served these jackfruit tacos on malabar parotta- so good.

Three Components To This Recipe

There are three parts to this jackfruit tacos recipe basically (other than the tortillas) and in my opinion they are all really important. I would highly recommend not skipping on the chutney and pickled onions. They add layers of flavor to this dish.

plate with tortillas, 1 bowl filled with jackfruit masala and 2 smaller bowls with chutney and pickled onions

Masala Jackfruit: the green jackfruit is cooked with mustard seeds, spices, curry leaves, onion, ginger-garlic, some tomato paste and finished with cilantro and lime juice. So flavorful and just the perfect filling for these tacos.

Pickled Onions: don’t they make everything better? And so easy to make at home with just some vinegar, sugar and salt.

Cilantro chutney: this is a very basic cilantro chutney that I make on weekly basis. I just added some almonds to this one to keep the consistency a little thick.

All these components come together is this recipe to make these really flavorful vegetarian tacos. I mean even if you are not a jackfruit fan like my husband, you would still enjoy these tacos. I promise that!

Ingredients

Since there are several parts to this recipe, there is a long list of ingredients. A good idea would be to prep and make the pickled onions and chutney in advance before you plan to make these tacos.

For the Jackfuit

  • canned green jackfruit: do not use the ripe sweet ones, you need green jackfruit for this recipe. You can find the cans at Asian grocery stores or in the Asian aisle of your regular grocery store.
  • spices: the recipe uses both whole (cinnamon, cardamom) and ground spices (coriander, paprika, garam masala) which add a lot of flavor and aroma to the jackfruit filling.
  • masala base: the base for the masala is made with onion, ginger-garlic, curry leaves, green chili & tomato paste. I love using tomato paste in my recipes for that rich flavor. You can find them in tubes (that’s the one I prefer) at stores. If you don’t have tomato paste, you can substitute with store bought tomato puree but double it’s quantity since puree isn’t as thick or rich as the paste.
ingredients for making masala jackfruit arranged on a board

For the pickled onions

  • red onion: for this recipe, I thinly slice the onions using a mandoline slicer. You can obviously use a knife, I just happen to love my mandoline slicer and it does such a great job!
  • white vinegar & water: I use equal amounts of white vinegar and water, you can also use some apple cider vinegar if you want. I just prefer using plain white vinegar.
  • salt and sugar: the amount of sugar and salt in pickled onions can be adjusted to taste and preference. I like my pickled onions a little on the sweeter side so I do add more sugar. If you don’t like the sugar, just down on it. For a little extra flavor, you can also add chili flakes, peppercorns.

For the cilantro chutney

  • cilantro and mint (optional): the chutney is mainly made with cilantro, adding mint is totally optional. It just gives the chutney a fresh flavor but it’s good without it too.
  • yogurt: plain milk yogurt or use plain almond milk yogurt for vegan version.
  • ginger, green chili- the amount of chilies can be adjusted to taste. I used 1 chili and that was quite a lot for me. For a spicier version, use 2 or 3!
  • salt, sugar and almonds: adding almonds in this recipe is completely optional. It makes the chutney thick and I wanted that for these tacos. You can skip the nuts.

Step by Step Instructions

Pickled onions: to make the pickled onions, first slice the onions thin. I used a mandoline slicer (1/8 inch thickness) to slice 1 large red onion into rings and then cut each ring into half. Place the sliced onions into a tall container like a mason jar. You can also just use a regular knife to slice them.

Then add vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a pan on medium heat. Stir and let the sugar dissolve completely. Once the sugar dissolves and mixture is little warm, remove pan from heat and pour the mixture into the mason jar. Press the onions with a spoon so that they are submerged into the mixture. Allow it to cool at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. You will notice the onions will have a nice pink color in 30 minutes and are basically ready to use.

I like them a little chilled so place them in the refrigerator while you work on the filling. You can also make these onions in advance to save time! You can also cut the onions in different shape if you like, it’s up to you. The amount of sugar can also be adjust here.

pickled onions in mason jar

Cilantro chutney: add all ingredients needed for chutney into a blender- cilantro (remove hard stems, the soft ones are fine), mint leaves (if using), yogurt, green chili, ginger, suga, salt & almonds. Blend until you have a smooth paste. This is again something that you can make in advance. You can also follow this simple cilantro chutney recipe in stead.

2 photographs side by side showing making of cilantro chutney

Jackfruit Masala

1- Drain the canned jackfruit using a strainer. Then using a fork or your hands, shred the pieces. Transfer the shredded jackfruit into a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder and mix until all the shredded jackfruit is coated with the spices. Set this aside.

2- Now, press the sauté button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add 1.5 tablespoons oil. Then add 1-inch cinnamon stick, 2 to 3 green cardamoms and 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds. Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds and the mustard seeds pop.

3- Then add sliced onions (from 1 medium red onion), chopped ginger (from 1.5 inch ginger) and chopped garlic (from 3 to 4 large garlic cloves), 1 sliced green chili and 10 to 12 curry leaves. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt at this point and stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are lightly browned.

4- Add 1/4 cup water and deglaze scrapping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula to remove any browned bits present from sautéing the onions.

step by step picture collage of making jackfruit tacos in instant pot

5- Then add the shredded jackfruit.

6- Along with 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste). Give a quick stir.

7- And then add the remaining 1 cup (8 oz) water. If you have a 8qt, you might need to add additional 1/4 cup here.

8- Close the lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then let quick release the remaining pressure manually.

PS: If you prefer firmer jackfruit and more texture- pressure cook for 4 to 5 minutes only with 10 minutes natural pressure release. I do 8 minutes since I like softer jackfruit.

step by step picture collage of making jackfruit tacos in instant pot

9- Open the lid and you will see there’s a lot of water remaining, we want the filling to be dry. So press cancel and then press the sauté button again. Press sauté (or adjust) button again to set sauté to “high”.

10- Stir often and let it sauté on “high” for 9 to 10 minutes” until the water dries off. Unplug the instant pot.

11 & 12- Add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and squeeze juice from 1/2 of a small lime. The filling is now ready.

step by step picture collage of making jackfruit tacos in instant pot

To assemble the tacos, warm up the tortillas (I used small 6-inch tortillas). Add the jackfruit and then top with the prepared cilantro chutney and some pickled onions. Make all tortillas similarly. Serve immediately.

Making on Stove-top

If you don’t have a Instant Pot and want to make these tacos, you can make them on stove-top. Make the chutney and pickled onions as per the recipe. Follow the instructions in the recipe card below to make the jackfruit on stove-top.

cilantro chutney being drizzled on top of tacos with a spoon

Tips & Notes

  • Remember to not use sweet yellow jackfruit here. You need to use young green jackfruit for this recipe. Find it at Asian grocery stores.
  • If you are not big on tangy flavor, feel free to skip the lime juice in the end. Because you are topping these with pickled onions and that also adds to the tanginess.
  • To pre ahead, make the pickled onions and chutney a day in advance. That way you only have to cook the jackfruit on the day you want to eat these tacos.
  • The jackfruit and pickled onions are vegan as it is. To keep the chutney vegan, make sure to use a vegan yogurt. My choice is plain almond milk yogurt.

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Jackfruit Tacos with Pickled Onions & Cilantro Chutney

tacos filled with jackfruit and topped with pickled onion and cilantro chutney
Manali
These Vegan Jackfruit Tacos are cooked with aromatic spices and served with cilantro chutney and pickled onions! They are jam packed with flavors and made in the Instant Pot!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine Indian, Mexican
Servings 6 tacos
Calories 291 kcal

Ingredients

Pickled Onions

  • 1 large red onion thinly sliced using a mandoline slicer (I set it on 1/8 inch thickness), and then cut each slice in half
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 tablespoons granulated white sugar adjust to taste, I prefer sweeter pickled onions so I used 4 tablespoons
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt or to taste

Cilantro Chutney

  • 2 medium bunches cilantro hard stems removed
  • 10-15 mint leaves optional
  • 6 tablespoons yogurt milk or almond milk (for vegan)
  • 1 green chili or add more to taste
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 5 almonds optional but recommended

Jackfruit

  • 20 oz can young green jackfruit not the sweet ripe one
  • 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1.5 tablespoon oil 22 ml
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 medium red onion sliced
  • 1.5 inch ginger chopped
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 green chili sliced, adjust to taste
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt divided, adjust to taste
  • 1 + 1/4 cups water divided
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 small lime juice of

6-8 small tortillas (wheat/corn), for serving

    Instructions
     

    Pickled Onions

    • To make the pickled onions, first slice the onions thin. I used a mandoline slicer (1/8 inch thickness) to slice 1 large red onion into rings and then cut each ring into half. Place the sliced onions into a tall container like a mason jar.
      Then add 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar and 1.5 teaspoons salt to a pan on medium heat. Stir and let the sugar dissolve completely.
    • Once the sugar dissolves and mixture is little warm, remove pan from heat and pour the mixture into the mason jar. Press the onions with a spoon so that they are submerged into the mixture. Allow it to cool at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. You will notice the onions will have a nice pink color in 30 minutes and are basically ready to use.

    Cilantro Chutney

    • Add all ingredients needed for chutney into a blender- 2 bunches cilantro (remove hard stems, the soft ones are fine), 10 to 15mint leaves (if using), 6 tablespoons yogurt, 1 green chili, 1/2 inch ginger, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 5 to 6 almonds. Blend until you have a smooth paste.

    Jackfruit Masala

    • Drain the canned jackfruit using a strainer. Then using a fork or your hands, shred the pieces. Transfer the shredded jackfruit into a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder and mix until all the shredded jackfruit is coated with the spices. Set this aside.
    • Now, press the sauté button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add 1.5 tablespoons oil. Then add 1-inch cinnamon stick, 2 to 3 green cardamoms and 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds. Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds and the mustard seeds pop.
    • Then add sliced onions (from 1 medium red onion), chopped ginger (from 1.5 inch ginger) and chopped garlic (from 3 to 4 large garlic cloves), 1 sliced green chili and 10 to 12 curry leaves. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt at this point and stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are lightly browned.
      Add 1/4 cup water and deglaze scrapping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula to remove any browned bits present from sautéing the onions.
    • Then add the shredded jackfruit along with 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste). Give a quick stir.
      And then add the remaining 1 cup (8 oz) water. If you have a 8qt, you might need to add additional 1/4 cup here.
    • Close the lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then let quick release the remaining pressure manually.
      PS: If you prefer firmer jackfruit and more texture- pressure cook for 4 to 5 minutes only with 10 minutes natural pressure release. I do 8 minutes since I like softer jackfruit.
    • Open the lid and you will see there's a lot of water remaining, we want the filling to be dry. So press cancel and then press the sauté button again. Press sauté (or adjust) button again to set sauté to "high".
      Stir often and let it sauté on "high" for 9 to 10 minutes" until the water dries off. Unplug the instant pot. Add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and squeeze juice from 1/2 of a small lime. The filling is now ready.
    • To assemble the tacos, warm up the tortillas (I used small 6-inch tortillas). Add the jackfruit and then top with the prepared cilantro chutney and some pickled onions. Make all tortillas similarly. Serve immediately.

    Stove-top Instructions

    • To make the jackfruit, shred and then season the jackfruit with turmeric and Kashmiri red chili powder. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan on medium heat and add the jackfruit to it. Cook on medium heat, stirring often until the jackfruit softens, around 10 minutes. Remove jackfruit from pan.
      Now, to the same pan add 1 tablespoon oil. Then add the spices, followed by onion, ginger, garlic, chili, curry leaves. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are lightly browned. Add the tomato paste, ground spices, salt along with some water (around 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup- adjust as needed). Stir well and let it come to a simmer and then add the jackfruit. Stir until it's all well combined.
      Then cook until all the water is absorbed. Finish with cilantro and lime juice.

    Notes

    • Remember to not use sweet yellow jackfruit here. You need to use young green jackfruit for this recipe. Find it at Asian grocery stores.
    • If you are not big on tangy flavor, feel free to skip the lime juice in the end. Because you are topping these with pickled onions and that also adds to the tanginess.
    • To pre ahead, make the pickled onions and chutney a day in advance. That way you only have to cook the jackfruit on the day you want to eat these tacos.
    • I use extra sugar in my pickled onions since I like them that way. If you prefer less sugar, just cut down on it. 
    • The jackfruit and pickled onions are vegan as it is. To keep the chutney vegan, make sure to use a vegan yogurt. My choice is plain almond milk yogurt.
    • If you don’t have tomato paste, substitute with store bought tomato puree but use a little extra, maybe use 4 tablespoons of tomato puree.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 1393mgPotassium: 336mgFiber: 4gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 366IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 138mgIron: 2mg
    Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

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