Malay-Style Pineapple Curry (Pajeri Nenas)

Updated on April 21, 2020
lizmalay profile image

I grew up in Malaysia, where I enjoyed cooking and eating local dishes every day.

This sweet pineapple curry is delicious!
This sweet pineapple curry is delicious!

Malay-Style Pineapple Curry

Pajeri nenas is one of my favorite traditional Malay dishes to make at home. It's typically served with steamed white rice, and it's perfect for lunch or dinner.

I learned to cook this recipe with my mother. One of the main components is kerisik (desiccated coconut), which adds a nutty flavor and makes the sauce thicker and creamier. The way you make kerisik is by taking freshly grated coconut, toasting it in a pan until it is golden brown, and then pounding it to make a thick, oily paste. I remember helping my mother pound the toasted coconut until the oil rose to the top. That's how you know it's ready.

When I make this dish at home, I make the kerisik ahead of time. I like to make it from scratch, as it produces a more authentic flavor. I use only my traditional kitchen tools, including my mortar and pestle.

This dish definitely brings me back to my mother's kitchen. The smell of the sweet pineapple, nutty kerisik, spicy curry, and creamy coconut milk is just divine.

I recommend serving this dish with steamed white rice. If you are a vegetarian, this dish is a must-try!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium pineapple, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups diluted coconut milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons curry powder of your choice (mix it with some water to make a paste)
  • 1 tablespoon kerisik
  • 2 strings curry leaves
  • 2 inches ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 3-4 cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Make the kerisik: Toast the shredded coconut on a pan without oil over medium heat. Toast the coconut until it turns golden brown. Grind the toasted coconut using a mortar and pestle to make a thick, oily paste. You can save the extra kerisik in the fridge.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Saute the curry leaves with shallots, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, cardamon, star anise, and cloves. Mix well.
  4. Add the curry paste and 1 tablespoon of kerisik to the pan. Continue stirring for 3 minutes.
  5. Throw in the pineapple into the pan and stir.
  6. After a few minutes, add the coconut milk, stir, and let it simmer.
  7. Add the salt and sugar. Check for taste.
  8. Let the sauce continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until the pineapple is softened.
  9. Place the pineapple curry into bowls for serving.
  10. Enjoy with white steamed rice and your favorite side dishes.

Photo Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is the kerisik. I prepared it ahead of time, and I can save the extra in the fridge for future use. Slice the pineapple.The other ingredients. Curry powder paste. Mix water into the curry powder and stir until it becomes a smooth and thick paste. Saute the shallots, ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, star anise, and the curry powder. Add the curry paste into the mixture. Add the coconut milk into the mixture. Add the pineapple into the mixture. Add sugar and salt. Voila, delicious pineapple curry. It's perfect for lunch or dinner.
This is the kerisik. I prepared it ahead of time, and I can save the extra in the fridge for future use.
This is the kerisik. I prepared it ahead of time, and I can save the extra in the fridge for future use.
Slice the pineapple.
Slice the pineapple.
The other ingredients.
The other ingredients.
Curry powder paste. Mix water into the curry powder and stir until it becomes a smooth and thick paste.
Curry powder paste. Mix water into the curry powder and stir until it becomes a smooth and thick paste.
Saute the shallots, ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, star anise, and the curry powder.
Saute the shallots, ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, star anise, and the curry powder.
Add the curry paste into the mixture.
Add the curry paste into the mixture.
Add the coconut milk into the mixture.
Add the coconut milk into the mixture.
Add the pineapple into the mixture.
Add the pineapple into the mixture.
Add sugar and salt.
Add sugar and salt.
Voila, delicious pineapple curry. It's perfect for lunch or dinner.
Voila, delicious pineapple curry. It's perfect for lunch or dinner.

© 2020 Liza

Comments

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    • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

      Liza 

      2 months ago from USA

      Hi Terry, the pineapple curry is delicious. If you don't mind sweet, sour, and spicy in your dish I'm sure you going to like it. Thanks for commenting :)

    • Tory Peta profile image

      Tery Peta 

      2 months ago from Bulgaria

      I have never heard about this dish, but it appears to be very delicious and I would love to make it. Thank you for sharing this.

    • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

      Liza 

      2 months ago from USA

      Thank you, Liz. During this period, I love taking the time that I have to prepare time-consuming food. I enjoy doing this at home. Stay safe!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      As more of us are focusing on meal preparation during the lockdown, this is a timely recipe. I really appreciate the photo tutorial.

    • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

      Liza 

      2 months ago from USA

      Hi Mitara, usually, I can eat pineapple without any condiments but, this is one of my favorite dishes to make using pineapple. Thank you for your comment :)

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      2 months ago from South Africa

      Interesting recipe, something I have never tried before. I usually chop pineapple with a sprinkle of chilli powder and salt. I shall be sure to try your recipe.

      Thanks for sharing

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