As a kid I was not too fond of attending weddings unless it was of our close relatives where I could meet my cousins. I used to hate sitting in between the grown ups in terribly hot weather not understanding a thing that everyone spoke around me. During one such wedding that we had attended of our neighbor's son, I tasted this wonderful mensakai. I have a weakness for fruit based curries like this sasam and if it has pineapple then I am in heaven. I was served very small portion of this delightful curry. I was not sure if I would like it so I just tasted a tiny portion of it and was hooked. I cleared even the minutest trace of this curry and was waiting for the second round of the same as it happens at most of the wedding feast. But there were no seconds. I observed that the curries were served just once and the rice did 3 rounds. First was to be had with Rasam, second with Sambar and the final round was with curds or butter milk. I was surprised that there were so many variety of sweets served and after the payasam the rice to be had with curds was served. There were a lot of sides to go with the rice (around 10-12) but all of them were served in tiny portion. The food was served on a plantain leaf and everyone sat on the floor with a mat for food. By the end of the meal one would get exhausted with the time taken to finish the meal and also with the variety. After that I did not taste that curry for quite long as we did not know the name of the dish nor its recipe.
Few years back, my aunt who is a very good cook made this. I took a mental note of this recipe and forgot it altogether until I came here. A quick call and I had the recipe with me. Updating this in my blog will allow me to come back anytime and check the recipe. The picture does not look great as I dd not have time to get a good pic and it was a terribly cloudy day. Will update it with better one next time.
Here is what's needed:
1 cup pineapple pieces (peeled and chopped into bite size)
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
1 tsp Sesame seeds ( I used black)
1/4 tsp Methi seeds
1/2 cup grated coconut
8-10 dried red chilli (I used the byadgi variety)
1 tbsp oil
marble sized tamarind ball
Jaggery and salt to taste
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp oil
1) Heat oil in a kadai and add coriander seeds, urad dal, sesame seeds , methi seeds,red chilli and grated coconut and fry till lightly browned. Keep aside to cool.
2) Prepare seasoning by heating oil, add in the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the curry leaves. Add little water to boil pineapple pieces. The pineapple that I used was quite bland not tangy nor sweet. So I added a good amount of jaggery. Add salt. The taste should be sweet so add according to your taste.
3) Grind the fried spices, coconut and tamarind with little water to a coarse paste.
4) When the pineapple is almost cooked add in the paste. Adjust the consistency of gravy by adding water. Give it a good boil.
Serve hot with rice and some south Indian curry
1) I some times make this with only mango or with a combination of both. It tastes very delicious. Boil mango and pineapple together if doing the same.