Sweet pineapple curry , Pineapple puliserry is a crowd pleasing mild,sweet and slightly tart curry made with fresh pineapple pieces, fresh coconut and yogurt during the traditional Kerala (India) feast called sadhya.
This recipe comes to you straight from my MIL's kitchen, at least a 75 years old one. You can make it really thick or slightly flowy consistency but never too runny. If pineapple recipes interest you then I have a few very traditional recipes and fusion ones too. Pineapple Pachadi (Madhura curry) Pineapple Pachadi (without yogurt version too) are close to my heart.
What is the difference between Pineapple Pachadi and Pineapple puliserry ?
The Kerala Cuisine and sadhya differs from region to region. Pineapple Pachadi is a thick one served on the side like a side dish where as puliserry is a medium thick yet pourable consistency served on top of the rice like a curry.
Interesting sadya differences :
Towards the northern side of Kerala Sadhya Pineapple Pachadi is called Madhura curry. It is served towards the right side of the banana leaf near avial. This usually consists of grapes and fried coconut seasoning too. In the fourth round, that is after the sweet dessert round( 2-3 payasams) a small serving of rice comes with plain spiced yogurt (buttermilk) then finally some rice and rasam comes . That is the last and final round of the feast as Rasam takes care of the digestion.
Towards the southern side of Kerala especially towards Thiruvananthapuram side after 3-4 payasams, in round 4 a serving of rice comes with puliserry, it is always of pourable consistency. Unlike the North Kerala where serving of plain buttermilk on rice happens here it is puliserry. Plain buttermilk (moru) comes in a more drinkable form, when you scoop you palm the server pours a large ladle full directly into your hand, finally finish off with rasam and rice.
Now is it not sumptuous ! Let me tell you this traditional feast called Sadya is unique to Kerala.
How to tell if the pineapple is ripe ?
- A good ripe pineapple should have a sweet fruity aroma. It should look orangish yellow towards the bottom and slight green towards the top (on the outside) without blemishes or soft spots.
- On pressing on the skin it may not give in. It may be firm but ripe inside.
- If the skin is fully green then the inside might be tart and not sweet enough.
- Should feel heavy for its size.
What can go wrong while making this sweet pineapple curry?
- Yogurt and coconut should be at room temperature while grinding else the oils will separate and clump up while grinding.
- Yogurt and raw coconut are very finicky ingredients they have a tendency to split when it comes in contact with hot liquid so it is very important not to boil the curry more than a few minutes. Never on high heat. The curry will split immediately and look unappetizing.
- Adding too much water can make the sweet pineapple curry bland.
- Adding too much fenugreek can turn the curry bitter(Been there done that). If that happens grind a little more coconut without adding spices and 1 more tbsp of yogurt give it a boil separately and add to the curry and mix well this will reduce the bitterness . A pinch of brown sugar or jaggery can balance off the flavors.
- Do not add sour or too tart yogurt it will mess up the flavors of the curry. Use fresh mild yogurt/ greek yogurt for best results. Remember to use thick yogurt.
- Boiling the curry more than few minutes will destroy the texture remember the curry thickens as it cools down.
- Adding jaggery / sugar is totally optional. At home we do not.
Ingredients list :
On a regular day since this is a sweet curry we usually serve with a spicy side dish here I have spicy sweet potato and some greens stir fried along with Kerala matta rice (not shown in pics)
Sweet Pineapple Curry
- 1/2 of a small ripe Sweet Pineapple Cut into cubes
- 1 Green chili cut into 2
- 1 /2 tsp Chili powder / Paprika (as per tolerance)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
To grind :
- 2 tbsp Fresh grated coconut (Use frozen if fresh is not available but not desiccated)
- 1/2 -3/4 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 cup Plain whole milk Yogurt (Unflavored)
To season :
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil Pure unflavored
- 1 tsp Black mustard seeds
- 2 Whole red chilies
- Few sprigs Curry leaves Fresh
- Cut the pineapple into 1 inch cubes, discard the peel and core.
- Boil the pineapple pieces adding 1 to 11/2 cups of water. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and green chili. When the pineapple is almost cooked remove 2 tbsp stock from the boiling pan keep aside to cool slightly
- Meanwhile grind all the ingredients given in the to grind list without adding water. Instead add the reserved stock. Grind to smooth paste
- The warm stock will give the coconut and yogurt the color and flavor of pineapple. More than that it will bring up temperature of the ground mixture so the yogurt does not slit when it comes in contact with hot liquid late.
- When the pineapple is fully cooked (but the shape should be intact) reduce heat to LOWEST and add the ground coconut mixture stir well until well combined.
- Allow this to heat up on low flame. When you see the first bubble appear stir well wait for 2 to 3 boiling spots to appear immediately stir well and remove from heat source and keep aside to stop further boiling. (See video for details)
- To season :Heat the coconut oil then add mustard seeds reduce heat when it crackles add the whole red chilies and then the curry leaves give it a few seconds to crisp up . Immediately pour the hot oil along with seasoning over the prepared pineapple curry. Do not stir. Cover 3/4 th and keep aside for some time. Stir in the oil when ready to serve.
What to do if the sweet pineapple curry/ puliserry looks curdled ?
Curdling happens due to many reasons - old and tart yogurt, frozen coconut, when cold ingredients are added to boil curries, cooking on high heat, cooking yogurt and coconut based curry for long etc.
If you find the curling has happened while cooking remove all the pieces from the curry allow the liquid to cool down then simply give a quick whip in the blender pour it back on to the pieces. Do not heat again. Simply do the tempering on top and the curry will be perfect.
Other pineapple recipes to try are :
Hope you will give this curry a try and let me know.