Pineapple Madhura Curry is an integral part of the Onam sadya in several households. It is a sweet curry made with ripe pineapple, a beautiful dish from the state of Kerala. It’s a flavour bomb, this curry, with sweet and sour and spicy tastes all rolled into one.
In today’s blog post, let me share with you all my family’s way of making Pineapple Madhura Curry. Do try it out this Onam! This is an absolutely delicious way to use up a ripe pineapple, I say.
A closer look at Pineapple Madhura Curry
Pineapple cooked into a curry that is potent enough to wake your tastebuds up from slumber – that’s Pineapple Madhura Curry for you. 🙂 ‘Madhura‘ means ‘sweet’ in Malayalam, which indicates that this curry is, majorly, sweet. However, there are so many other layers of flavours happening here you’d be surprised if you haven’t tried this out before.
There is a version of Pineapple Madhura Curry made with curd, which is prepared in many Malayali families. However, the version I am sharing today, from my mother-in-law’s side of the family, does not include any curd.
When you are not making an elaborate banana-leaf spread, I think this Pineapple Madhura Curry goes very well with rice and sambar or rasam. Especially if you like curries that are on the sweeter side, like me!
What goes into Pineapple Madhura Curry
Chunks of ripe pineapple are first cooked with a wee bit of salt, then further with the addition of jaggery. The sweetness in this curry comes inherently from the ripe pineapple as well as from jaggery.
Coarsely crushed coconut, mustard, cumin and green chillies are added to this mixture, not unlike this Beetroot Poriyal. Then, after a brief saute, the curry is ready. It is served with a simple tempering of mustard seeds, dry red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves.
How to make Pineapple Madhura Curry
This is how to go about it.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
To grind together:
1. 1/2 cup fresh coconut
2. 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
3. 1 green chilli
4. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1. 2 cups ripe pineapple cubes
2. Salt to taste
3. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
4. A little less than 1/4 cup jaggery powder, or to taste
For the tempering:
1. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
2. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
3. 2 pinches of asafoetida
4. A sprig of fresh curry leaves
5. 2-3 dry red chillies
1. Remove the core and thorns from all the pineapple cubes, then transfer them to a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the turmeric powder, a little salt and about 1/2 cup of water. Place the pan on high flame.
2. Mix the ingredients well. Let the pan get heated up and the water start bubbling, then reduce the flame down to medium. Allow the pineapple cubes to cook on medium flame till they are about 80% done, 5-6 minutes. Stir intermittently.
3. In the meantime, we will grind the paste this dish requires. Take the coconut, mustard seeds (listed under ingredients ‘to grind together’) and cumin seeds in a small mixer jar. Chop up the green chilli roughly and add it to the mixer jar too. Pulse a few times to get a coarse dry mixture – do not add any water. Keep this aside.
4. When the pineapple nearly 80% cooked and there is still a little water left over, add the jaggery powder to the pan. Mix well.
5. Continue to cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes more. By this time, the water would have almost dried up and the pineapple would have cooked through. Do remember not to overcook the pineapple, but let it retain its firmness.
6. At this stage, add the coconut mixture to the pan. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 1-2 minutes or till everything is well incorporated together. Switch off gas at this stage.
7. Now, we will prepare the tempering. Heat the coconut oil in a small tempering pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Let these ingredients stay in for a few seconds, without burning. Then, transfer this tempering to the pineapple curry. Mix well. The Pineapple Madhura Curry Is now ready. Let it come to room temperature, then serve alongside rice with rasam or sambar or as part of an elaborate banana-leaf spread.
Tips & Tricks
1. Use a pineapple that is ripe and juicy, but not overly so. Preferably, the pineapple should be firm and without any blemishes.
2. Adjust the quantity of jaggery and salt as per personal taste preferences. The same goes for the quantity of green chillies that you use.
3. If the heat from the green chillies is not enough, you can add a little red chilli powder. However, this is purely up to you. We keep this curry mildly spicy by adding just one green chilli, and do not use any red chilli powder.
4. Do not grind the coconut mixture to a paste. Just pulse it a few times in the mixer to get a coarse, dry mixture – that’s the texture that works best.
5. If the curry gets too dry while cooking, you can add in a little water. I didn’t need to. The end result should be a mostly dry, very slightly wet curry.
6. You may add in a small knob of ginger along with the coconut, while grinding. We usually don’t.
7. Do not cook the curry too much after the coconut mixture has been added. Just saute for 1-2 minutes for everything to get well assimilated.
8. You can also add in some cashewnuts, to make the curry richer. If so, use broken cashewnuts and add them raw, along with the jaggery.
9. You can also add a handful of grapes to this curry. Use seedless grapes, green or purple, and add them in while you add the coconut mixture to the pan.
10. Do not overcook the pineapple. It should be just cooked through, retaining its firmness.
11. Coconut oil goes best in the tempering for this curry, as in case of several dishes from Kerala. The tempering is done at the end, to ensure that the fragrance of the coconut oil remains intact.
12. This recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to people who follow a plant-based diet. It is not, however, gluten-free because of the use of asafoetida. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour, to a greater or lesser extent, and are therefore best avoided whilst following a gluten-free diet. So, to make this Pineapple Madhura Curry gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!