It is the season of pineapples. I guess besides strawberries, pineapple is the second most favorite flavor in the world. The reason being the artificial flavors have almost reached the perfection of the real taste of the fruit. Fresh Pineapple tends to be expensive sometimes and there is a good reason for it. The Pineapple fruit can be harvested only after 15 months of cultivation which means one fruit takes 15 months to reach the market and to be available for us to enjoy.
Pineapple is grown vastly in Kerala. To a Mumbaikar like me pineapple was meant to be eaten fresh or juiced. It is only when I went to Kerala did I get to taste pineapple curry, called Mor Kuzhambu.
This drink is not a regional delicacy nevertheless I'm riding the Kerala wave with the current RCI. The smell of a very ripe Pineapple transports me to Alleppey. I remember hoping out of the car at the site of a almost orange colored ripe pineapple as the vendor was cleaning it. It was a large fruit, immediately I declared to Dad that I was going to live on Pineapple that day. We went straight to hire a launch with a wonderful deck covered with a canopy and surfed the backwaters for 6 hours from Alleppey to Kumarkom bird sanctuary. They were the most idyllic hours in my life. Dad even took over the controls of the launch for sometime and he was happy like a child who is gifted a new toy. We nibbled on the pineapple all day long and yet I was not tired. I was smelling all fruity that night.
Here is a drink I made yesterday with a nice pineapple I laid my hands on. I have some more left and the next dish you can expect would be savoury. This recipe is for my friend, Deepa for she has pineapples beckoning in her pantry.
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
a small piece of ginger ground to paste
1 small piece of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons honey
2 slices of pineapple to dress up the glasses
Pound the the spices together to a fine powder with a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.
Next in a big jar add the juices, ginger paste, honey and the spice powder. Chill the juices covered for 2 hours. This will help the spice flavors to blend into to the juices well. Shake and serve in a glass of your choice. Insert a pineapple slice onto the rim.
A spiced drink even if chilled will give your throat a nice warmth as it increases blood circulation.