How to make the best-tasting Pineapple (Ananas) Raita
How to pick a pineapple?
A ripe pineapple works best for this recipe as it is sweet, juicy with just the right amount of tang. To pick a ripe pineapple, follow the guidelines below –
- Fragrance – Do the sniff test. Sniff the base of the fruit and it should smell fragrant.
- Feel – Squeeze the pineapple and it should be ‘slightly’ soft.
- Color – A ripe pineapple is usually golden yellowish in color with bright green leaves. If it has turned orange, it is over-ripe and past its prime.
It is best to pick a ripe pineapple then picking a green one and allowing it to ripen on your countertop since they achieve maximum sweetness when harvested ripe.
Can I use canned pineapples for this recipe?
How to prevent pineapple raita from getting bitter?
- Consume the pineapple raita in a couple of hours.
- Heating destroys this enzyme – Saute the pineapple before adding to the raita. If you are wondering if it impacts the taste, don’t. My recipe calls for caramelizing the pineapple and that not only prevents the bitterness, but also adds an extra dose of sweetness (a.k.a deliciousness) to this recipe.
- Use canned pineapples – pineapples are heated before they are canned and that takes care of the bitterness.
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- Place a pan over medium heat and add pineapple chunks and sugar.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes and turn the pineapple chunks once. Shake the pan to allow the caramelized sugar to coat the pineapple nicely. Cook for another 2-3 minutes till the pineapple turns golden brown.
- Whisk the yogurt till it is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients (chili powder, pepper powder, black salt, roasted cumin powder, and mint leaves) and mix well.
- Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings as needed. Refrigerate for an hour.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and pomegranate arils before serving.
- Use thick yogurt for best results.
- Pineapple raita can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days but it tastes best when consumed the same day.
- Yogurts in India are sourer than the ones found in the US. To cut the sourness, add 1/4th cup milk. Make sure you are using thick yogurt or strain the yogurt if needed before adding milk.
- If the pineapple is letting out juice while it is being cut, reserve the juice and add it to the raita.