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Kos - From “Curry” to “Furniture”

The Jackfruit can be dangerous to your health - if you happen to be standing under a ripe 50 kilogram monster fruit when it drops from the tree. Apart from that, the only danger you are in, is of overeating it. The fruity delights of the “Kos” tree, as it is known in Sinhalese, take on different names depending on the level of maturity and are consumed in varied ways. At its most ripened state, the fruit is called “Waraka” or “Wela” and the sweet yellow pods within are consumed as-is or with pepper or in fritters or even blended up into a smoothie! But the earlier stages of the fruit, known as “Kos” (yes, the tree has the same name too) and “Polos”, need to be cooked or steamed and are then turned into various delicious dishes such as - the white curry “Kiri Kos” - the spicy and sour “Polos Ambula” - the coconut, green chilli, turmeric and spice-laden “Pollos Mallum” and, of course, the favourite of the sweet-toothed - deep-fried jackfruit soaked in sugar syrup… who could say no to that? But wait, even the seeds are edible when cooked. They are either cut up and deep fried or cooked and turned into a delicious curry. In fact, you could have a multi-course meal made up entirely from this one amazing fruit and you could be enjoying that, sitting on sturdy furniture made from the wood of the Kos tree! So the next time you visit, be sure to seek out a dish from the humble jackfruit, ‘kos you won’t regret it!

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