Using fruit in savory recipes & applications is very common throughout Asia and India is no exception. Since I absolutely love pineapples, I thought this would be a great way to show off its wonderful versatility. Pineapples are sweet, juicy & also slightly tart. They have a wonderful texture & a delicious complex flavor. Pineapples are also an excellent source of Vitamin C and are high in dietary fiber as well.
For this particular recipe, I highly recommend using fresh pineapple especially when they are in season. But canned pineapple works well in a pinch, just use the kind that are packed in their natural juices & drain well before use. This dish makes a wonderful side dish to any Indian meal.
SPICY PINEAPPLE STIR FRY
1 medium size pineapple, cut into large bite size cubes
1 cup toasted unsalted cashews (or peanuts)
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
½ piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds), optional
4-6 fresh curry leaves
3-4 dried red chilies
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp smoked paprika
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp of soft dark brown sugar, to taste
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or unsalted butter
freshly chopped cilantro leaves
Peel, trim, core and cut the pineapple into large bite size cubes, reserve any liquid & set aside until needed.
In a medium size wok or deep skillet on medium high heat, add the ghee or butter when hot. When melted, add the cumin seeds & nigella seeds. After 30 seconds or so, add the shallots and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until just slightly browned. Next add the ginger, garlic, curry leaves and dried red chilies. Stir fry for another minute or so and then add the spices (ground cumin, turmeric, garam masala, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper). Stir fry for just another 1-2 minutes and then add the pineapple chunks along with any pineapple liquid. Gently stir all the ingredients together to combine well and add the brown sugar. Let the brown sugar melt & allow the pineapple chunks to turn golden brown and caramelized, this may take a few minutes or so. Lastly, add the cashews and toss well to combine. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with your favorite Indian meal.
If you prefer a spicier dish, add a pinch of red chili powder to pack a spicy punch. You can also add a pinch of good quality curry powder along with the other spices for a different but equally delicious flavor. A handful of raisins will also add a lovely flavor, add them along with the pineapple chunks.