Pineapple Pachadi

Kerala fish curry for Beginners
October 9, 2010
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Presenting before you another exotic dish straight from the Kerala kitchen….. Illustrating a solid example of the great Kerala culinary skills, this dish goes to show you that Kerala food is not all about chilies & spices, but could also offer something that leaves those taste buds of yours sweetened too….. Pineapple pachadi, forming an unusual combo of pineapple with coconut and curd as the base has been my top favorite since childhood days. And in fact has left me pondering always about its origin. Just imagine, whoever wud have thought of giving such a yummy appearance to a fruit like pineapple…. And so, giving all the due esteem and tribute to the creator of this recipe, let me move forward.

Coz of the abundance of coconuts, almost all the Kerala dishes are made with coconut and curd as a base… And this dish in particular is no exception… Forming an inseparable part of Kerala sadhya, this dish is equally acceptable by adults and kids alike mainly coz of its impressive taste and aroma which has in fact conquered my little one’s taste buds too … thus forming a part of my lunch quite often…. And since it requires neither too much time nor ingredients for preparation, works fine for all workaholic housewives too.

And before proceeding with the recipe details, let me tell you that my amma-in-law makes this wonderful pachadi with much grace and perfection and I wud like to take this opportunity to thank her for actually imparting me the recipe for this delicious dish.

So, here goes the recipe for a sweet pineapple pachadi.

You’d require
½ of a big pineapple
2 big tbsp grated coconut
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Chilly powder (optional)
½ tsp Turmeric powder
Salt – As reqd
2 Green chilies
1 glass of sour less thick curd

For seasoning-
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2 nos Dry red chillies (broken)
2 tbsp Coconut oil
A few Curry leaves

Method:-

1)Peel off the skin of the pineapple and cut it into very small pieces.

2)Cook it in a vessel along with chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt and slit green chillies.

3)Grind together coconut and cumin seeds into a smooth paste.

4)When the pineapple gets fully cooked and the water content is almost evaporated, add the ground coconut mixture.

5)Allow the mixture to get cooked. Make sure it doesn’t get too watery as the mixture should be thick.

6)Heat oil in a pan.

7)Splutter mustard seeds and saute dry red chillies and curry leaves.

8)Add the above seasoning into the pineapple mixture and allow it to cool.

9)Add curd and mix well to get the reqd consistency.

Sometimes, if the pineapple might not be sweet enough, you wudn’t get the reqd sweetness. Then, you can add a little sugar and stabilize the sweet factor. A small tip, which I usually do to make the dish sweeter… so that I don’t end up with a khichdi in my hands. At this point, I remember having seen many doubts posed on net as to the difference between a pachadi and a khichadi… Well, accdg to my amma-in-law, a great connoisseur in cooking, the only difference is that in pachadi, you grind only coconut and cumin seeds while in khichdi, you add crushed mustard seeds too along with the coconut-cumin paste. I’m sure there might be differences of opinion in this context as the recipe itself along with its name tag varies from the north end to the south end of the state.…. So to be on the safer side, I’m not exactly vouching on this statement…though wud like to contribute my share of thoughts too…

And as the procedure for his particular pachadi is almost identical in all Kerala households, I don’t think there are any possibilities of trying out variations on the same… though I’m sure this works fine for all…. You can try this even with ripe plantains or otherwise known as Nenthrapazham… Do check out this Pazham Pachadi I made for this Vishu sadhya…

And so to wrap up, once again salutations to the ones who innovated this wonderful recipe with pineapple making it one of the state’s culinary delight on all feasts.

So, on that proud note, happy cooking!!!

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