How to Make Ananas Menaskai: A Traditional Pineapple Curry from Karnataka

Ananas Menaskai is a unique and flavorful dish from the coastal region of Karnataka, India. This sweet, tangy, and spicy pineapple curry is a delightful blend of tropical flavors and aromatic spices. Often served during festivals and special occasions, Ananas Menaskai is a perfect accompaniment to rice or dosa. Here’s a detailed guide on how to make this traditional dish at home.

Ingredients

For the Curry:

  • 1 medium-sized ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste

For the Masala Paste:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut (fresh or desiccated)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 6-8 dried red chilies (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • A small marble-sized piece of tamarind

For Tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 8-10 curry leaves

For Garnish:

  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Pineapple

  1. Chop the Pineapple: Peel, core, and chop the pineapple into small, bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cook the Pineapple: In a pan, add the chopped pineapple, turmeric powder, and a little water. Cook over medium heat until the pineapple pieces are soft and tender. Add jaggery and salt to taste. Mix well and simmer for another 5 minutes. Set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Masala Paste

  1. Roast the Spices: In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds, grated coconut, coriander seeds, dried red chilies, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, and asafoetida. Roast the spices until they turn golden brown and aromatic.
  2. Grind the Masala: Allow the roasted spices to cool slightly. Transfer them to a blender, add the tamarind, and grind to a smooth paste using a little water.

Step 3: Combine Pineapple and Masala Paste

  1. Add the Masala Paste: Add the prepared masala paste to the cooked pineapple. Mix well.
  2. Simmer the Curry: Add water to adjust the consistency of the curry. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Step 4: Temper the Curry

  1. Prepare the Tempering: In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add asafoetida and curry leaves. Sauté for a few seconds.
  2. Add to the Curry: Pour the tempering over the simmering pineapple curry. Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Garnish and Serve: Garnish the Ananas Menaskai with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
  2. Enjoy: Serve the curry hot with steamed rice, dosa, or chapati.

Tips for Perfect Ananas Menaskai

  1. Choosing Pineapple: Use a ripe pineapple for a balanced sweet and tangy flavor. Avoid using overripe or underripe pineapples.
  2. Roasting Spices: Ensure the spices are roasted until golden brown for a rich and aromatic masala paste.
  3. Consistency: Adjust the consistency of the curry according to your preference by adding more or less water.
  4. Balancing Flavors: Adjust the sweetness with jaggery and the tanginess with tamarind to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
  5. Tempering: Adding the tempering at the end enhances the flavor and aroma of the curry.

Conclusion

Ananas Menaskai is a delicious and unique dish that brings together the sweetness of pineapple with the heat of spices and the tanginess of tamarind. This traditional pineapple curry from Karnataka is a must-try for those who love experimenting with different flavors. By following this detailed recipe, you can create a flavorful and aromatic dish that will impress your family and friends. Serve it with rice, dosa, or chapati and enjoy the delightful taste of this exotic curry!

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