Mar 21, 2007

A Pineapple A Month

AFAM (A Fruit A Month) is a popular blog event by Maheswari, that focuses on one fruit every month. Bloggers need to come up with dishes with the fruit as the main ingredient. This month the focus was on Pineapple.

(Photo from Wiki)
I wonder why a pineapple is named so. Is it because of all the pines on this fruit or as it tastes sweet and tangy like the apple? My quest took me to Wiki where I discovered a plethora of information on this fruit. Pineapple or Ananas Comosus is called so as it resembles “pine cones”. This tropical fruit is native to Brazil and Paraguay.
Here’s what I found interesting in the Wiki article, “The World War II Mark 2 hand grenade was commonly known as the "pineapple" because of the grooves cut into its surface. Ian Fleming employs "pineapple" as a slang term for a grenade in the James Bond novels.”

Pineapple is available in many forms today – crushed, chunked, or drained. It is used in juices and milkshakes. It is the main ingredient in many cakes and desserts. Whether you eat it raw or use it in any form, this juicy fruit is delicious. Removing the outer covering is a pain and it’s better to get it removed from the fruit vendor. Juice stalls in Mumbai sell a special fruit dish; a concoction of varieties of fruit pieces. These include pineapple, apple, and melon topped with a chat masala.

If you have visited any Maharashtrian wedding, you must have spotted a table full of beautiful artifacts. This is called the “Rukhwat”. Rukhwat contains special gifts for the bride such as utensils, home-made sweets, poems, special messages, and best of all gifts and handiwork made by family and friends. I always love making a rukhwat item for a near and dear one. You can include anything such as a painting, show-piece, or embroidery work. I remember making one such rukhwat item for my Tai (elder cousin sister). I and Mom used a Parachute oil bottle. We cut 1-inch long pieces of yellow plastic material, folded these pieces, and stuck them in a circular fashion on the oil bottle. They soon took the form of a pineapple. The top was covered in green plastic leaves. I wish I had a photo to share with you, but my description will have to suffice for now.

Coming back to the event. This is my entry for AFAM. Here’s the recipe for a savory raita:

Pineapple Raita

1.1 tsp oil
2.1/4 tsp mustard seeds
3.1/2 tsp ginger paste
4.1/2 cup canned pineapple, finely chopped
5.2 tbsp pineapple syrup, from the can
6.1 cup yogurt, beaten till smooth
7.Salt to taste
8.1/4 tsp red chili powder, to taste
9.5-6 curry leaves

1.Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
2.Once they stop spluttering, add ginger, curry leaves, chopped pineapple and the pineapple syrup.
3.Simmer on low heat for 3 minutes or until thick.
4.Remove from heat. Allow to cool.
5.Add yogurt into a bowl and beat till smooth. Add salt and red chilli powder to the yoghurt and mix well.
6.Pour the above mixture in the yoghurt and mix again.
7.Serve chilled with Jhatpat Pulav.

Jhatpat Pulav is named so as it is ready in a jiffy and tastes similar to the authentic pulav. This pulav is a discovery of my friend B. We used to make this pulav when we were bored of eating daal-chaval. Here’s the recipe:

1.1 cup rice
2.½ cup frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, and French beans)
3.1 ½ tsp Biryani Pulav paste (We use Priya brand)
4.Salt to taste
5.1 tsp ghee

1.Wash the rice in 2-3 changes of water.
2.Defrost the veggies and add to the rice.
3.Add the masala paste, salt, and ghee. Add water and stir well. Taste the water to check if you need to add more salt or masala.
4.Pressure cook for 1-2 whistles.
5. Mix well.
Jhatpat Pulav is ready. You can add chopped potato to the rice. Tastes even better.

To all my blog buddies:I would like to know what Pineapple is called in your mother tongue. It's called "Ananas" in Marathi. Do share the names alongwith the pronounciation:)


Sia's corner said...

i love this raita and make it quite often swapna. try adding 1/4 tsp of mint paste next time. gives that extra oomph:)
we call it ananasu in kannada.

Coffee said...

My favourite raita!!!! Nice one there Swapna!!! :)

Sharmi said...

oh man, that sounds really jhatpat to me!! the raita is pretty new and creative. when unexpected guests drop by I think we can be really quick with this pulav. I think its annasi in telugu and tamil.

maheswari said...

That's quick and easy raita...

We call pineapple "Annacchi pazham" in tamil.

roopa said...

we all love this raita, we do add coconut paste too.

priyanka said...

We call it 'anaras' (pronounced aanarawsh) in Bengali. Thanks for this recipe..was looking for one and yours is the one I'll try out!