Nature walks are one of those divine experiences of life that can kindle new perspectives to our ways of thinking. When the human mind is exposed to some of these natural forces and powers, it makes a huge difference to ones lifestyle and work life.
Recently, when we were on our much needed break from the gadget dependent world, we lived in a home-stay, Matthuga which was within a farm which was completely free from network coverages and television. The farm is located at Sagar Taluk, near Jog Falls, Shimoga. The idea is to give up all your addiction towards gadgets, internet, television and spend quality time with family. Vinay and I spent one of the best days of our lives here.
A person’s stay at this place has only been designed for introspection and self absorption. We had a calm and comfortable stay which was coupled with the homely hospitality by the staff of the resort.
The food at this place was the icing on the cake. I had never imagined that I would savor home cooked delicacies away from home. The lovely, Sunanda aunty pampered us with all her cooking skills. The best part of it, she made every meal count and every single recipe of hers was soothing to the heart and soul. I was taken back to Udupi when I relished the first meal she served us. When asked if she was from Udupi, she said she hailed from Sagar. Apparently, the food from Sagar and Udupi taste similar. It is only the nomenclature of the dishes that differ.
Of all the dishes she prepared on our first day at mattuga, the lovely ‘Menaskai’ made from pineapple was my favorite. In Sagar they call it ‘Kayirasa’. It took me back to Udupi’s temple food. I usually do not stuff myself while eating a meal. But this time, there was no escape. I had to ease myself and I found myself going for a third helping too.
The recipe of Pineapple Menaskai is different from Bitter-gourd Menaskai or Hogplum Menaskai. Many Udupi home-cooks have their own versions of Menaskai. The recipe I’m going to share today is the Pineapple Menaskai, which is a simpler recipe. I’ll be posting another recipe for Bitter-gourd Menaskai in my later postings.
Pineapple Menaskai is a Udupi / Mangalorean recipe that suits well with rice. Menaskai is generally served at the beginning during festive meals. Tangy, sweet and spicy flavours are quite prominent in this curry.
- Pineapple - 1.5 cups (Cubed and Riped)
- Tamarind - 1 tbsp (lemon sized) - Soaked in hot water
- Jaggery - 1 tbsp (Adjust sweetness according to the taste of the pineapple)
- Table Salt - 1.5 tsp
- Water - 1 - 2 cups
- To be ground into paste
- Coconut - 3/4 cup grated
- White Sesame Seeds (Yellu) - 1 tbsp
- Dry red chillies - 7-8 (Guntoor or Byaddgi variety)
- Coconut Oil - 1.5 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds - 3/4 tsp
- Asafetida (Hing) - A pinch
- Curry Leaves - 1 twig
Step 1: Roast all the ingredients to be ground using a tsp of coconut oil separately. Let it cool and then grind these three ingredients to a fine paste.
Step 2: In a wok or vessel add water, pineapple cubes, add the pulp of soaked tamarind, salt and jaggery and let it come to a boil.
Step 3: Once the pineapple cubes are cooked through, add the ground paste into the boiling mixture and let it cook for another ten minutes.
Step 4: Prepare the seasoning. In a wok add in oil. Once the oil heats up, add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafetida. Serve hot with rice.