There are some days in a month when I yearn for Kerala Style food. The food I grew up eating. While we have considerably reduced our rice intake these days, some gravies or curries call for that extra helping of rice and certainly gets the weighing scale into the spotlight yet again! The Pineapple Pachadi is my ultimate favourite food amongst the Kerala Cuisine and the Onam or Vishu Sadya meals at home. I love pineapples, enjoy a bit of sweet touch to my meals and simply partial to the combination of yogurt and coconut gravy like a true Keralite.
As seductive as the Pineapple Pachadi looks, it is equally heavenly in taste. Chunks of pineapple that lends both sweetness and a bit of tang combined with silky yogurt gravy with spicy chillies, freshly grated coconut, cumin and mustard seeds is the most satisfying bowl of goodness. The fresh tempering of aromatic curry leaves and mustard seeds in coconut oil transports the dish to another level.
For the Sadya meals (which is served on a banana leaf), a Pachadi forms a prominent position, sometimes with 2 different varieties too. The Pineapple Pachadi is actually a veg side dish consumed with sambar rice or rasam rice.
We don’t mind eating them with Rotis too at home and they taste delicious. You might want to check out Other Pachadi Recipes on the blog that are Zucchini Cucumber Thayir Pachadi Amla or Indian Gooseberry Pachadi and Tomato Pachadi
Most of Kerala style gravies have simple ingredients namely cumin seeds, green chillies or red chillies (sometimes both). The meals are cooked in coconut oil and even the tempering is done by using coconut oil and aromatic curry leaves. Some of the Kerala Cuisine Recipes that you may be interested in taking a look at are Kerala Style Veg Stew, Avial (Mixed Vegetables) and Beetroot Thoran.
Kerala Vegetarian Cuisine is very simple. Loads of vegetables and sometimes fruits, herbs, fresh coconut and whole spices are used for cooking. The gravy is mildly spiced, usually with green chillies. Yogurt or curd is used as the souring agent in food rather than tomatoes.
The food is primarily cooked in coconut oil (including frying) and that is what our ancestors enjoyed thoroughly after working hard through out the day. Largely, the vegetarian food is gluten free but not vegan as we use curd for gravies and serve our rice with a dollop of ghee and / or sometimes use it for tempering too.
My Mum made the best Kerala style veg food and added her own twists too, just like I do. But whenever I cook the dishes at home, I always end up tasting the first morsel and saying, “Ma makes it so much better”. I guess like every child, I am partial to my Mother’s cooking.
Taking this recipe to the #179FoodieMondayBlogHop where the theme suggested by dear friend Seema D Sriram is “FoodMagBest” wherein she encouraged us to post recipes that we would like to see in a magazine. I chose the Pineapple Pachadi for 2 reasons – It is Regional Cuisine, something that my blog is passionate about and secondly it reminds me of the food I grew up with and would want to be featured some day.
Check out the detailed step by step pics of the Pineapple Pachadi Recipe
Recipe for Pineapple Pachadi (Spicy Kerala Style Coconut Yogurt Gravy)
Prep Time – 15 mins
Cook Time – 30 mins
- 1 medium size Pineapple (skinned, cored and roughly chopped into medium size chunks)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder or Haldi
- 2 cups Water for cooking the pineapple + 1/4 cup for the gravy
- 1/2 cup Fresh Thick Curd
- 1 tblsp Jaggery
- Salt to taste
Ingredients for the Gravy
- 1/2 a shell medium size coconut
- 2 or 3 nos. Whole red chillies
- 1 – 2 Green chillies
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds or Rai
For the Tempering
- 2 tsps Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 or 2 Whole Red chillies
- Few curry leaves
- In a pot or vessel, add the roughly chopped pineapple, turmeric powder and salt to taste along with 2 cups of water. Cook until the pineapple is slightly tender and the water has reduced considerably.
2. Meanwhile, grate / chop the 1/2 shell of coconut, add it in a mixer grinder.
3. Add mustard seeds, whole red chillies, green chillies, cumin and grind it into a smooth paste, using 1/4 cup of water.
4. Whisk the 1/2 cup of yogurt or curd and keep aside.
5. Now add the coconut gravy mixture to the cooked pineapples and mix everything well. Allow it to cook for a few minutes on low flame. Check and adjust salt at this stage.
6. Add a tbslp of jaggery and mix well.
7. Quickly add the yogurt or curd, mix well and switch off the flame immediately. (Yogurt should not cook else it will curdle and split).
8. Let us prepare for tempering by heating a small pan, adding coconut oil, mustard seeds, whole red chillies and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds crackle, pour the tempering over the gravy and serve immediately.
- The prep time in my case is just 15 mins as I got the Pineapple peeled from my fruit vendor. All I had to do was core and dice into chunks.
- Use Medium Ripe Pineapples for best results. Extremely ripe pineapples would turn mushy and you wouldn’t be able to relish the fruit chunks with the rice.
- Adding of Jaggery is optional but I highly recommend.
- I have cut the coconut into pieces instead of grating it, saves time for me.
- Half a shell of coconut could differ in size from place to place. Do not worry. Trust me, the more the coconut, the better and delicious this gravy tastes.
- You can adjust the spice (red and green chillies) according to your taste.
- Use Fresh Curd that is not tangy and thick. Whip it well so that there are no lumps. Never cook or allow the gravy to boil once the curd is added. It tends to split, thereby compromising the gravy. Ideally never reheat the Pachadi or rather all curd based gravies.
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