Fruit Pachadi (Pineapple & Grapes In A Spiced Coconut and Yogurt Chutney)
I ’m going to keep this post sort and sweet, literally and figuratively. Literally, because this is a yogurt based chutney that is short (takes very little time and effort to put together) and sweet to taste. Figuratively, because my wrist is recovering from a rather painful sprain and though it feels much better, my wrist could do with the rest that comes from writing a short post.
A Pachadi is a traditional chutney of sorts from my native Palakkad cuisine. It is is lovely blend of tangy, spicy, savoury and sweet flavours. The tang or sourness in a Pachadi can come from either the use of tamarind or from yogurt. A Pachadi made with tamarind is generally called a “Puli” Pachadi (where Puli is tamarind and also means sour) while that made with yogurt is known as “Thayir” Pachadi(where Thayir is yogurt). In some parts of Kerala, a Thayir Pachadi is referred to as “Kichadi”
In our traditional cooking/ recipes, we mostly use indigenously grown vegetables, though many of those can be and are substituted with other less traditional but commonly available vegetables. This Fruit Pachadi is pretty much like that and a new twist on the old.
We usually do not cook with fruit except perhaps mangoes, plantains and jackfruit and this particular Pachadi is perhaps the only one I know where other fruit is used and that too, fruit like pineapple and the less common grapes. While pineapple is more common in Kerala, grapes are only being seen there in the very recent past.
When we used to find grapes, they would be quite expensive, so it is not surprising that Fruit Pachadi is usually made only to serve during special feasts. I have never seen this Pachadi made at home and in the past, I have only seen this served only during Hindu wedding feasts and that too, not at every one. These days though, it is seen more often making an appearance during festive meals (which we call “Sadhya”) for Onam or Vishu
You will find many variations of this Pachadi, some made with tamarind and no yogurt, others without tamarind and a little bit of yogurt and so on. This version which is mine is made with quite a bit of yogurt and uses a bit of turmeric powder, which gives it a golden yellow colour.
The slight tang in the Pachadi comes from the yogurt and the fresh pineapple whereas the sweet comes from the pineapple, grapes and jaggery. This Pachadi is mainly savoury so one needs to add enough salt to taste it. The sweet should balance out the salt with a hint of sourness and fire from the chillies.
Fruit Pachadi is served as a side dish along with rice, sambhar (a vegetable and lentil gravy dish) and stir-fried vegetables.
Grind to a fine paste:
- First grind the coconut paste. Put all the ingredients for the paste into your mixer/ blender jar and grind it to a fine, smooth paste, using very little water. Keep aside.
- Put the chopped pineapple in a pan with just enough water to cover it. Add the turmeric powder and a little salt and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer until the pineapple is cooked and the water has evaporated.
- Now add the coconut paste and mix well. Cook over medium heat for a minute or two, stirring a couple of times. Add the powdered jaggery and the grapes. Mix, once again and take the pan off the heat. Lightly whisk the yogurt so it is smooth, and then add it and as much more salt as required to the pan. Stir till well blended. Pour this out into a serving bowl.
- In a small pan, heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the remaining ingredients, stir once and take off the heat making sure the tempering doesn’t burn. Pour into the Pachadi. Mix before serving and serve at room temperature.