Pineapple Pachadi

[singlepic id=515 w=320 h=240 float=left]Here’s a recipe for Pineapple Pachadi by Sheela, who I hope is going to contribute more recipes for us. :-) She cooked up a brilliant meal for Vishu, which is the Malayali New Year.

According to Wikipedia: Vishu is a festival celebrated in the state of Kerala in South India. It is also celebrated in adjoining areas of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The festival marks the first day of Malayalam Year and falls in the month of Medam (April – May). Vishu follows the sidereal vernal equinox and generally falls on April 14 of the Gregorian year. This occasion signifies the Sun’s transit to the zodiac – Mesha Raasi (first zodiac sign) as per Indian astrological calculations. The word “Vishu” in Sanskrit means “equal”. Therefore Vishu is more probably denoting one of the equinox days. Vishu is also considered as the harvest festival of Kerala and thus the importance of this day to all Malayalees.

In Kerala and Tamilnadu, pachadi is a side-dish curry similar to the north Indian Raita. Pachadi is eaten fresh and typically made of finely chopped and boiled vegetables with coconut, green or red chillies and tempered in oil with mustard seeds, ginger and curry leaves. Curd/yogurt based pachadi can be made of any vegetable, although cucumbers, squash, mango, bitter gourd or pineapple are common. Pachadi is commonly eaten with rice and a lentil curry.

Pineapple Pachadi

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced pineapple [fresh or canned would do]
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric and salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp sugar [optional] is to be added only if the pineapple is not sweet enough

Ingredients for the Tadka (tempering)

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 red dry chilli
  • A few curry leaves

Method

  1. Cook pineapple in water with salt and turmeric till done
  2. Make a fine paste of the yogurt, mustard seeds, grated coconut and green chillies. Add to the pineapple and remove from fire once the pachadi starts boiling.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and put quickly fry the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds,dry red chili and curry leaves (Tadka Ingredients).
  4. Pour the contents of the pan over the pachadi. Cover, do not stir.
  5. Your Pineapple Pachadi can now be served hot or cold.

Pineapple Pachadi tastes good when served hot or cold. I suggest serving with hot, steamed rice.

As long as we’re on the subject of pineapples, did you know pineapple is a great meat tenderizer? It contains an enzyme called papain, which softens meat quite well. Papain is also present in green papaya. Either of the two (pineapple or papaya) can be mashed or shredded and used to marinate meat. You can always wash off the pineapple later if you like.

– Sid (source: Sheela Mohan)

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.