… Pineapple Chutney, Bengali-style
A few months ago, nestled amidst other goodies, we got a packet of panch phoron (Bengali five spice mix) from dear Sandeepa. We’ve been using it in a variety of dishes – mainly lentils. This time, we used it to make a hot-tangy-sweet pineapple chutney.
Panch Phoron typically contains equal parts of
Fenugreek seeds (methi)
Nigella seeds (kalonji)
Mustard seeds (rai or shorshe)
Fennel seed (saunf or mouri)
Cumin seed (jira)
The mustard seeds may be brown or yellow (ours were yellow).
Some variations may substitute anise for the fennel seeds or wild mustard for cumin, radhuni seed for mustard, and possibly black cumin for nigella.
The spices are popped in hot oil or ghee (clarified butter) to release the flavour. This flavoured oil (usually pungent mustard oil) is used to season vegetable or fish dishes (Panch phoron is very rarely used in meat preparations).
Read Barbara’s beautiful ode to panch phoron @ Tigers and Strawberries.
Anarosher Chaatni is a regular feature in Bengali feasts. It’s one of the dishes Ashima prepares for Ashoke in The Namesake.
While we found various versions online, we opted for this one from A Bengali Girl in the US. What made it different was the addition of ‘bhaja masala‘ – an aromatic spice mix much like garam masala. We made a few changes – we added a touch of ginger, replaced the vinegar with lime juice, and adjusted the quantities to suit our taste.
We used fresh pineapple. Frozen works too. If using canned pineapple, used crushed pineapple in its own juice. Drain the juice, keep it aside, and use it instead of the water in the recipe. Adjust the sugar and lime juice based on the sweetness of the pineapple.
It was fantastic even before adding the bhaja masala. It had a fruity taste accentuated by the pungent mustard oil and panch phoron. The addition of the masala provides a smoky, spicy dimension. Leave it out if you’re not crazy about garam masala.
Try to use mustard oil. It’s what makes this dish.
This is a great variation to the south Indian pineapple pachadi, and more figure-friendly, since it has no coconut. We adore savoury fruit dishes, and this was truly lip-smacking.
ANAROSHER CHAATNI (Pineapple Chutney, Bengali-style)
1.5 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp panch phoron
2 dried red chillies
When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add
4 cups pineapple cut into small chunks
1 tsp grated ginger
Cook for 5 minutes, then add
3 tablespoons lime juice
**adjust according to the sweetness of the pineapple
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar (or more)
salt to taste
Meanwhile, prepare the bhaja masala (Bengali spice mix)
Dry roast until aromatic
1/3 tsp cumin seeds
1/3 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mixed cinnamon, cardamon, mace and cloves
1/3 tsp peppercorns
1 dried red chilli
A finger-nail size piece of cassia leaf (tejpatta)
Roast for a few more minutes. Grind into a fine powder.
Stir into the pineapple mix. Chill and serve.
Tastes better the next day.
We had ours on bruschetta.
Anarosher Chaatni is our entry for Sandeepa‘s Regional Cuisine of India – Bengal event.