Monday, 5 May 2008

pineapple pulisseri

Meeta has called on her fellow bloggers to whip up something under the Bollywood Cooking theme for her May Monthly Mingle.

Non-Indian readers have it easy, since we are invited to pick one of our favourite Indian dishes, whereas Indian food bloggers are thrown a more complex challenge and have to make something slick enough to be served to glamorous Bollywood starlets and heart throbs.

I’ve gone for a dish that’s always intrigued me: the pulisseri. This curry usually combines a sweet fruit with chillies and sour curd.

It is sublime.

Although mango seems the most common option, I’ve gone for a pineapple pulisseri because I wanted a fruit that would hold its shape and remain chunky in the sauce.

The recipe turned out really well. The sweetness of the pineapple shone through, but it wasn't overbearing and the heat from the chilli and sourness of the yoghurt really brought it back to a savoury dish. I'd definitely make this again.

I found the recipe on another blogger’s site and followed it carefully, so this post has turned into a Recipe Road Test as well!

Pineapple Pulisseri
Recipe by The Budding Cook. Serves 6.
550g pineapple chunks
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
5-6 curry leaves
375ml yoghurt, whipped (sour curd)
For the paste:
4-5 tablespoons grated coconut (frozen is fine)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
5-6 red chillies
For the seasoning:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2-3 red chillies
3-4 curry leaves
A pinch of yellow asafoetida (hing)
1. Grind the grated coconut, cumin and red chillies until they form a paste.
2. On medium heat, cook the pineapple cubes with the curry leaves, salt and turmeric powder in a little bit of water until the pineapple is soft.
3. Add the ground paste to the cooked pineapple and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes.
4. Reduce heat and add the yoghurt. Mix well and remove from heat to prevent curdling.
5. In another pan, heat the coconut oil and add the seasoning ingredients. Fry until fragrant then add to pulisseri as a garnish.
6. Serve with steaming hot rice, thoran and pappadams.

Bollywood Cooking is a great theme for me because I had already set myself a challenge to investigate various Indian regional specialties throughout 2008.

This dish is from Kerala, a region of south-western India along the Malabar Coast, known as the Land of Coconuts. Interestingly, Kerala has the highest living standards in all of India and its biggest agricultural outputs are rice, coconuts, tea, rubber, cashews, spices and seafood.

Previously Kerala was made up of two states (Travancore and Malabar) which have different cuisines. Travancore tends to be spicier than Malabar and often vegetarian.

Generally Kerala’s cuisine seems to focus heavily on coconuts (cream, milk, freshly grated) and they usually use coconut oil for cooking.

Other common dishes from the region include idli (fluffy rice pancakes) and dosa (huge, crispy crepes stuffed with savoury fillings and served with chutneys and dal).

On another note, today is my sister Shamu's birthday and I want to wish her a whale of a day!!!



  1. Anna, this looks really great. i do like fruit in my curries - not something everyone does. this is perfect for the MM!

  2. Anna,
    Thank you so much for your feedback! I am glad to hear that the recipe worked for you. I love this dish. It is something that I have grown up on, so it is very special to me.:-)

    Thanks for letting me know.

    BTW, you live in Sydney? That's where my sis is living too right now.:D


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