The last week has been quite a bit hectic on the social front – meaning, eating out nearly every day! And this is not good for me, not good at all – tell me friends how does it happen that one always eats a bit more when one does not have to cook oneself?
So in order to get back into my (healthy) eating routine I made a wonderful little treat for myself.
P….P….Pachadi! It is most delicious, refreshing and healthy and is normally served as a side dish, a wonderful accompaniment for plain rice, snacks like dosa and idli and goes especially well with hot and spicy curries. You can even find this and other Pachadi’s in top international Indian Restaurants.
Pachadi is also part of the traditional Kerala Onam Sadya and is also often served at weddings (and all this on the traditional Banana leaf).
I use a whole large pineapple just for myself when I want to get back “on track” – it keeps a couple of days in the fridge alright and anyhow there is never any left for a third day.
Try this recipe and you too might get hooked on Pachadi.
For what you see in the photographs I used:
1 large pineapple, chopped into fine cubes (2 cups)
½ tsp of Turmeric powder
2 ½ tsp of Chilli Powder (adjust to your own taste)
½ cup plus of Curd, slightly beaten for smoothness
Salt to taste
(2 Tbsp Jaggery or other sugar) I did NOT use any of these, since our pineapples are quite sweet naturally and I also like that “kick”.
Items you will need to grind into a smooth paste are:
½ cup of grated fresh (or even frozen – but never dehydrated!) coconut
2 tsp of cumin seeds
2 tsp of black mustard seeds
A couple of Tbsp of water (if needed)
Before serving you will need to temper with the following:
3 tsp of Coconut oil
1 tsp of mustard seeds
2-3 dry red hot chillies
Some curry leaves
Now start cooking Pachadi:
Add 1 Tbsp of water to the pot, followed by pineapple, salt, turmeric powder (sugar etc if you are using) and the chilli powder. Mix gently and cook on medium heat until pineapple becomes soft. Here again I like a little bit of ‘crunch’, but it’s up to you.
Add your coconut paste and cook for a few more minutes until all the water evaporates.
Switch off heat and let this cool down for 10 minutes before you add your curd. Do not boil any more after this or it will curdle.
Remove to a nice serving bowl.
Heat oil, add mustard seeds and when it splutters in a minute or two add the dry red chillies and curry leaves and immediately pour it over the waiting Pachadi. A word of warning thou – be very carefully when you drop the dry chilli into the oil. Twice now they ‘shot’ at me quite ferociously and barely missed my eyes. Not funny – from now on I keep my face averted.
And as you can see from “Mini” and “Mo” (the cats!) and their bowl I just had a little bit of long-grain basmati rice with my Pachadi.