Yes this Sri Lankan pineapple curry has it all – fruitiness, spice, and just happiness really! It’s a tropical hug in a dish – perfect for complementing other curries but equally tasty on its own with a bowl of rice. Plus it’s vegan (if you omit the maldive fish) which is only a good thing, right?
Pineapple curry is a dish that I grew up with. It wasn’t an everyday dish but more a dish that my mum cooked when we had guests, as it was just different from the norm.
Another time we had it was when we were on our Summer holidays in Sri Lanka. As pineapples are in abundance out there, along with my fave mango, papaya and passion fruit, we were always using it in different dishes. Pineapple curry remains one of my favourites to this day, although mango salad is a close second!
I usually make this dish alongside my chicken curry, which it is pictured here with, or my salmon curry. I also add a cucumber and tomato salad or another vegetable side dish. We Sri Lankans don’t normally just eat one dish – our tables have at least 3 sides, even for a weekday meal! Another wonderful vegan curry you could consider would be this fabulous beetroot curry by Tooting Mama. Tooting Mama’s site has some wonderful modern Sri Lankan recipes for you to try!
Tips and Tricks
The trick with this dish is to find the perfect pineapple. This can be tricky if you live in a temperate climate like the UK but it is possible. As an alternative you can use tinned pineapple – in fact the picture is of a curry using just that. If the pineapple isn’t as sweet as you’d like, you can add some palm sugar or honey for a little extra sweetness.
If using coconut milk from a tin, shake the tin first. Otherwise, the coconut cream will be at the top of the tin, separate from the coconut water at the bottom and you’ll have to whip it up yourself to combine.
Ok well here’s the recipe – let me know what you think!
Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry
- 1 medium pineapple or a 480g tin of pineapple slices in their own juice
- 1 medium red onion/shallot sliced
- ½ tin coconut milk you can use powdered coconut milk powder too
- ½ stem lemongrass bruised
- ½ stick cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground fennel toast the seeds and then crush
- 4 curry leaves
- 1 tbsp dried maldive fish optional. Found in jars in Asian grocers
- 1 tsp crushed red dried chillies optional
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp ginger paste optional
- 1 tbsp palm sugar optional
- Cut the top off the pineapple and peel the skin off. Then cut it lengthways into four quarters. Cut the core out of each quarter before dicing the remaining flesh. Alternatively, open the tin, remove the slices and dice.
- Put the oil into a pan and heat. Add the curry leaves and let sizzle. Now add half the onions, lemongrass and ginger. Stir to combine.
- Add the coconut milk together with the cinnamon stick, dried maldive fish, and pineapple pieces. Reduce the heat and let simmer for around 10 minutes. Add the onions and continue simmering until the pineapple is cooked.
- Taste the sauce and if needed, add some or all of the palm sugar. Sprinkle with the ground fennel and leave for another 10 minutes.
- Garnish with the crushed dried chilies and serve.