Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pineapple Menaskai (Pineapple in sesame coconut sauce)

Menaskai(Curry) is a real treat to your taste buds. For those who love the combination of sour, sweet & spice.., this is the perfect dish. Everytime I eat this , i feel rejuvenated.


This is again a Udupi cuisine. During the weddings, naming ceremony or any festivities, this dish is again one of the must in the innumerable items prepared & served. There is pineapple gojju(gravy/curry) also prepared during Karnataka weddings (Mysore/Bangalore side). I do not know if both menaskai & gojju use the same ingredients. Will check with my grandmom during my next visit to India & update here.

Ingredients: (Recipe source: Mom-in-law)
Chopped pineapple: 1 cup
Tamarind: 1 medium lemon sized ball (adjust according to the sourness of the pineapple)
Jaggery: 1 medium lemon sized ball or 1.5 tsp (adjust according to the sourness of the pineapple)
Water: 1 to 1.5 cups
Salt: According to taste

 
For the spice paste/masala paste:
Grated dry coconut: 1 cup
Sesame seeds: 1.5 tbsp (I use white sesame)
Dry red chilli: 6-8nos (adjust according to your family needs)

 
For tempering:
Oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-6 nos
Dry red chilli: 1 broken
Asafetida: a pinch

Method:
  • Soak the tamarind in warm water(about 1/4th cup water)  for 10mins. Extract the thick juice from the tamarind & discard the pulp.
  • Boil the pineapple in 1/2 cup of water. When pineapple is half cooked, add tamarind extract, jaggery, salt to the pineapple & cook again until soft.
  • Meantime, dry roast the sesame seeds & red chilli seperately. Allow them to cool.
  • Make a fine paste of coconut, sesame seeds & red chilli.
  • Pour the paste to the pineapple mixture, 1/4th cup water & cook it on a low heat for another 5-7mins.
  • Prepare the tempering. Add oil to a small pan, when oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves, red chilli & saute for 5-8secs. Finally add the asafoetida & turn off the heat.
  • Pour this tempering to the prepared pineapple menaskayi/curry.
  • Serve it hot/warm as a side dish to rice.

Tips:
  • The dish is usually made using fresh coconut. I replace it with dry coconut because that way I can preserve it for 3-5days in my refrigirator. If you are sure to use this in a day or two, feel free to add fresh coconut.
  • Pineapple could be replaced with mango, bittergourd, ambade/amtekayi(Thanks to Shilpa of Aayisrecipe for this picture) or capsicum.
  • This dish tastes better the next day. Donot forget to boil this once a day, cool it & then store it in the refrigirator.