Pineapple in Spicy Sweet Coconut Curry (Ananas Sasam)

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We have been married for quite a few years now, long enough to understand and predict each others tastes, likes and dislikes. Or so I thought, until a routine trip to the grocery proved that I had concluded a bit too soon.


I have a penchant for the sweet taste; he on the other hand steers away from it and even cannot withstand the sweetish taste of vegetables like zucchini, sweet peppers in the cooking. He would rather chew on some hot chillies than ogle at cookies and cakes. But then wait; he loves fruits and does savor some Rasmalai and Puran Poli (Obbattu) on some special occasions, but that’s about it.

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So while on a regular trip to the grocery, we were gazing at some good looking pineapples, he startled me when he said that “Pineapple Sasam” was one of his favorite curries. I had never prepared this before and nor had my MIL when she was here. Now “sasam” in Konkani is a coconut based curry that is a combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy predominantly sweetish taste. Anyway, who knew? I guess, there is some thing new that you learn about a person everyday.

I on my part did not waste any time to try out this new and importantly sweet recipe. I made some quick phone calls to the appropriate personnel (read MIL) and got the recipe right away. She gave me two versions and this is the version that I tried. This is good dish to prepare on special occasions.

 

 

 

Ingredients           

Pine apple sasam

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1 small pineapple (ripe) [3 cups of chopped pineapple]
  • Oil
  • Mustard seeds
  • Asafetida
  • curry leaves
  • salt 

Masala to grind: 

  • 1 cup shredded coconut fresh/frozen
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Little tamarind paste (2 tsps)
  • 3-4 red chillies [I use byadgi dried chillies, pre-roasted in a drop of oil]
  • jaggery for taste

Preparation:

  • Grind the ingredients for the masala above by adding water and making a paste. 
  •  Remove the peel from pineapple. Dice the pineapple into bit sized chunks.

Method:              

 
 

 

 

 

 

  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  • Add the curry leaves, then asafetida and mix well.
  • Add the chopped diced pineapple and stir until it cooks up. (This does not take a long time, about 5 minutes).
  • Add the ground masala paste, salt and cook until the raw smell of the coconut paste is gone. Add little oil if necessary.

This can be served with rotis/phulkas or as an accompaniment with rice.    

 

 

Bitter Gourd Curry/ Karate Ghashi

 

Bitter Gourd I feel is a funky vegetable, so different in its taste and texture as compared to any other vegetable. The bitter taste is what sets it apart and you either love it or hate it. Luckily everybody in my family loves it and we cannot have enough of it.

This is a favorite dish of mine and is a typical Konkani recipe. I have learnt this from MIL. She is an expert in making this and whenever she is here, she makes an extra batch for me and stores it in the fridge. I then go on for days eating it with rice, rotis, or right about anything.

karate_ghashi

Ingredients

1 medium sized bitter gourd (karela/ bitter melon)

½ cup shredded coconut

5-6 red chillies

Juice of lemon size tamarind

3 tsps of jaggery

Pinch of Asafotedia

Turmeric

2 tsps Corriander seeds

1 tsp jeera

Oil, salt, mustard

1 cup of water

Method:

v     Clean the bitter gourd thoroughly and cut it into small cubes.

v     Boil 1 cup of water and add the diced bitter gourd cubes and cook until done.

v     Meanwhile roast the red chillies, coriander seeds, jeera with little oil and keep aside to cool.

v     Grind coconut along with red chillies, tamarind extract, and roasted spices into fine paste.

v     Add this ground paste to the cooked bitter gourd and heat again.

v     Add salt, jaggery and let it continue to boil more.

v     Make a tadka of mustard, curry leaves, asafetida, and 1 broken red chilly and add to the mixture.

 The dish is ready and has a unique combination of sweet, tangy, bitter, spicy taste that goes well with rice, Rotis, literally anything.