A friend of mine approached me, asking if I could take a stab at converting this traditional curried fruit into a keto-friendly version in time for Thanksgiving. I had never tried this recipe, but it dates back to WWII and originally was conceived as a way of cooking up canned fruit.
When I first looked at the recipe, I thought "No way..." as I stared at the list of high-carb fruits, including peaches, pears, pineapple, even maraschino cherries or sometimes raisins, that made up the vast majority of curried fruit recipes. I then decided that this was just the challenge I was looking for as no one had tried to do this that I had seen in my research on the Interwebs.
The biggest change was to use jicama, to make sure I had a firm-fleshed "fruit" to simulate the crunchy pears that I eliminated from the recipe. The tanginess of the rhubarb replaces tangy pineapple. The cantaloupe takes over where the peaches left off and the cranberries replaced the cherries for colour, while the mulberries are a similarly chewy replacement for raisins. I increased the amount of chopped pecans to add more fat and crunch, and added rum to give a more complex flavour profile. Using Indian garam masala with extra ginger, cardamom and clove gives it a more flavourful, exotic taste. You can always use the more traditional American yellow curry powder, but it wouldn't have the same depth. I splurged and bought some Swerve Brown to replace the brown sugar, and while I normally reduce the amount of sweetener used in most recipes, I kept this amount the same and added some peach-flavoured stevia drops, since the fruit I used are so much less sweet.
I know I went on a bit more than usual, but I'm pretty proud at how this recipes came together. I know some of my choices may sound strange, but give it a try! You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Keto Curried Fruit Recipe
- 2 tablespoons dark or spiced rum (*or ½ teaspoon rum extract combined with 1½ tablespoons water)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed (divided)
- ⅛ teaspoon peach stevia drops
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, melted (*Or swap with homemade vegan butter to make it vegan.)
- ½ cup Swerve Brown or Sukrin Gold
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons garam masala (*Or curry powder, if you can’t get it, but the Indian garam masala makes it more exotic.)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove (or swap with allspice)
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 3½ cups jicama, cut into ½" pieces
- 3½ cups cantaloupe, cut into 1" pieces
- 1½ cups rhubarb, diced into ½" pieces
- 1½ cups cranberries
- 3 tablespoons dried mulberries
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
(*Note: Be sure to use cantaloupe that is either a little under-ripe or just ripe. Frozen cranberries or rhubarb can also be used. You can add or swap in other low-carb fruits depending on what's available, as long as it comes to roughly the same amount of fruit, but I would keep the jicama if you can since it keeps a slightly firmer texture than the fruits, even when baked. Other low-carb fruits that could work include: star fruit, casaba melon, or apricots, which all should be either a little under-ripe or just ripe, and should be cooked along with the jicama. Be sure to cut whatever fruit you choose to a size that's larger than the jicama for it to keep it from overcooking.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Add the jicama, cantaloupe and rhubarb pieces to a 9x13” casserole dish. Stir together lemon juice, rum, and peach stevia drops. Pour the mixture over the jicama and melon and toss.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in the Swerve, garam masala, cardamom, ginger, lemon zest, and coconut flour.
Drizzle the butter mixture over the jicama and melon and put the casserole dish and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. (Alternatively, you can do this in a slow cooker set to 4 hours on low.) At around halfway through the cooking time, add the cranberries, mulberries and pecans. Stir everything together, making sure all the fruit is well-coated. (Alternatively, you can do this in a slow cooker set to 4 hours on low, adding the other fruits 2 hours into the cooking.)
Remove from oven. All the fruit should be tender at this point. Give everything a stir the allow to set for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or cold as a holiday side dish to accompany ham, pork, turkey or chicken. It also works well as a brunch on top of a keto Dutch baby pancake or keto waffles, or as a side dish alongside a frittata or other breakfast casserole. You can even serve it as a dessert with keto yogurt, sugar-free ice cream, creme fraiche or quark, or as a topping for keto cake.
Did you give this keto curried fruit recipe a try? If so, let me know what you think in the comments. Or if you share any pics on Instagram, tag me so I can see your creations.