April 6, 2014

Pineapple Mensakai (Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Curry)

How to make Pineapple Mensakai

          You know how, sometimes a song gets inextricably stuck in your head & refuses to go away, whether you like it or not? Yeah, I have that too - the Stuck Song Syndrome!! If you are a foodie, you should be able to relate to something similar - If I fall in love with a new or exotic dish; the flavors & that memory gets tattooed on my grey matter & rises out of my long term memory, every time I see a relevant ingredient even if it's eons later. Today's post, is about one such memory/side dish called Pineapple Mensakai. You could also add a small amount of boiled bitter gourd into this dish, it will probably go unnoticed (good, if you have any bitter gourd haters at home)

       The Mensakai is similar to the Pachadi (in Tamil), from the popular Udupi Cuisine (Mangalore, Karnataka). When I first sampled, this exquisite side dish at a friend's house warming ceremony, the foodie in me was so curious to know it's name & the recipe. I ended up walking out, extremely disappointed, since all I could figure out at that time, was that it was made with Pineapples - was sweet, tangy, spicy & oh so.... mouth watering!

Pineapple Mensakai - Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Curry


Pineapple - 1.5 Cups (Cut in medium sized chunks)
Coconut - 1/4 Cup
Red Chillies - 2 or 3
Green Chilli - 1 no:
Curry leaves - 2 Sprigs
Coconut oil/Oil - 2 Tbsp
Tamarind Pulp - 1/4 to 1/2 Tsp (Depending on the sourness of the fruit)
Sesame Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Black Gram Dal/Urad dal - 1 Tbsp
Coriander Seeds/Dhania - 1 Tsp
Fenugreek - 1/4 Tsp
Salt to taste

  • Dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan, until they splutter around. Remove onto a plate.
  • Heat the pan with some Oil. Once it's hot enough add the Fenugreek seeds & fry until red. Add the Urad dal - fry; add the Coriander seeds - fry; add the Red chillies -fry until crispy. Add the grated Coconut & Curry, fry for just a few minutes & turn off the heat & let it cool before grinding. 
  • Grind all of the roasted ingredients (except the Sesame seeds), by adding a little water into a smooth paste. Lastly, add the Sesame seeds & pulse the mixer just a few times. 
  • Cook the Pineapple chunks with a little water & a slit Green chilli, until the Pineapple chunks are tender. Add Tamarind pulp/water, Salt & let simmer until the raw smell of the tamarind disappears.
  • Add the ground masala & sprig of Curry leaves, simmer for a minute & remove from heat. The gravy has to be thick.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add  the Mustard seeds & a red chilli. When it splutters, pour the oil on top of the gravy.
  • Serve with your south indian meal platter (goes well with Sambar rice) or plain Rice. 

Pineapple Mensakai

This recipe is taken out of a clipping from The Hindu & sharing it with Sri Valli's CCChallenge #7 week 1.

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