Pacri Nanas: Malay Pineapple Curry (Vegan)

A light, refreshing pineapple curry, influenced by Middle Eastern cuisine. Aromatic spices like cloves mix with coconut milk and chillies.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Pacri nanas, or sometimes called pecili nanas, pajeri nanas, pacri nenas or pajri nanas, is a delicious pineapple curry (nanas is the Indonesian word for pineapple). It is a Malay specialty. It comes from regions in Indonesia with Malay populations, such as in Palembang, Medan, Riau, Aceh, Pontianak and Banjarmasin. The dish is influenced by Middle Eastern cooking, characterised by spices commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisines. Cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, etc, give it a unique flavour.

Pacri nanas is believed to be an antidote to fatty foods. It is therefore often served during celebrations, such as on weddings and circumcisions, with rich and sinful dishes like rendang, gulai, nasi kebuli (pilaf with lamb, mutton or chicken), etc. Pacri nanas is  presented alongside such fatty dishes to help neutralize the cholesterol.

Though unusual (especially for Indonesians, who rarely cook a savoury dish using fruit as the main ingredient), pacri nanas is unquestionably yummy eaten with rice. It’s refreshingly fruity and the spices give the dish its special character. The thin coconut milk smoothes and balances the flavour. Depending on the area, there are a few different ways of using coconut in pacri nanas. Some areas use coconut milk, while others use grounded pan roasted grated coconut instead, and some use none. They each result in slightly different flavour, but all are delicious. Pacri nanas contains no animal protein, making it suitable for vegans.

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Pacri Nanas: Malay Pineapple Curry (Vegan)

Pacri Nanas: Malay Pineapple Curry (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Vegetables, Soups & Stews
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Malay
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Pacri nanas is a light, refreshing pineapple curry, and is a dish influenced by Middle Eastern cuisine. Aromatic spices like cloves are mixed with light coconut milk and some chillies.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium pineapple, peel and remove the eyes
  • 10 shallots, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 big green chillies
  • 5 red chillies
  • 3 Bird’s eye chillies (optional)
  • 0.5 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp aniseed
  • 3 cm turmeric, peeled, chopped
  • 5 cm cinnamon
  • 2 star anises
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 cardamoms
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500 ml thin coconut milk (can be substituted with 400 ml water and 100 ml instant coconut milk)
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the pineapple in 1 cm circles, then cut it again in quarters, set aside.
  2. Thinly slice 4 shallots and 2 garlic cloves, set aside.
  3. Slice 2 big red chillies and the green chillies, set aside.
  4. Ground into a fine paste: 3 red chillies, bird’s eye chillies, 5 shallots, 2 cloves garlic, cumin, aniseed and turmeric.
  5. Heat the oil in a cooking pan over medium heat. 
  6. Sautee the sliced shallots for about 2 minutes until fragrant.

    Sautee the sliced shallots

  7. Add sliced garlic, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom. Fry for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  8. Add the spice paste, fry for about 3 minutes until fragrant.
  9. Add water and coconut milk. Stir well.
  10. Add the pineapple, salt and sugar.

    Add the pineapple, salt and sugar.

  11. Bring all the ingredients to boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer the pineapple for about 15 minutes.
  12. Add the sliced green and red chillies, cook for another 5 minutes. 

    Add the sliced green and red chillies

  13. Turn off the heat and transfer the dish to a serving bowl.

Notes

  • If preferred, coconut milk can be omitted from the recipe. It will make the dish lighter and not creamy.
  • The dish is both great served with rice or on its own.

Keywords: Vegan, common ingredients, healthy

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