Menaskai – A perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy.
Any traditional occasion and this dish makes a star entry. Eagerly awaited as it comes towards the end of a sit down banana leaf meal just before the desserts. I know many a family member who can travel distances for this curry.
The best meals are at a Muth and the array of dishes being served seems never ending. For some reason 3 gravies are served with the rice. First the rasam, after a while Sambhar and in the end the Menaskai. If caught unawares, with the supersonic speed they serve, u will be forced to eat the rice with the first gravy. We are pros now and make 3 mounds of the rice to savour each curry or quickly cover the leaf with our hand to stop them from pouring anything else except the Menaskai.
This curry can also be made with Mango or Karela and is the perfect balance of sweet, sour and spice.
1 cubed pineapple – no core
1 lemon size tamarind ball soaked in water
1/4 cup jaggery
7-8 dried bedki chillies
2 tsp urad dal
Half freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp mustard
3 tsp black til
Oil, 5-6 karipatta, 1/2 tsp urad dal and 2-3 chillies
1) Cut pineapple into cubes, boil along with tamarind water and jaggery. Only half cook
2) Roast red chillies, urad dal, mustard and dry grind it in the mixer
3) Roast black til lightly. Add to the Chilli mix and grind it
4) Add some water and grind this masala with half coconut to a fine paste.
5) Add the masala to the pineapple. Adjust consistency by adding water
6) boil on low flame till the the raw coconut smell is gone. About 5-10 mins and the pineapple is soft
7) give tadka with ingredients mention under tempering. Serve with rice
It has to be a good balance of sour, sweet and spicy. Add salt at the end after tasting.