I will never forget the first time I tasted fresh pineapple. I was 17 years old and vacationing in Honolulu with some girl friends. On our very first morning, you can surely guess what I ordered for breakfast. Yup, you’re right – pineapple pancakes, and that gorgeous stack was garnished with succulent chunks of fresh pineapple. As I popped one in my mouth, I gasped, “This is pineapple? OMG! “(or some equivalent expression of the era). It bore absolutely no resemblance to the blah canned stuff I had been eating all my life. Well, for the duration of the holiday, I gorged myself on my new passion. I just couldn’t get enough. To this day canned pineapple always tastes like a distant imitation of the real fruit; it just doesn’t cut it! All this to say that whenever we can, when cooking, we should not deny ourselves the use of fresh fruits when they are available: it makes a startling difference. Such is the case with today’s recipe. Fresh pineapple will elevate the flavour of the dish to lofty heights and allow the other spices to sing.
I hope you like this recipe as much as we do in our family. It is brilliant with fish and chicken recipes.
Spicy Pineapple Rice
1 cup basmati rice, washed and drained
1¾ cups of water
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
½ medium white onion, diced
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup cubed pineapple, fresh or canned fresh
1 or 2 tablespoons seasoned rice-wine vinegar
salt to taste
Add the rice and salt to the water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 12 minutes and remove from heat. Fluff gently and remove to a large bowl.
Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and sauté until they begin to turn golden brown. Add the mustard seeds and minced ginger and sauté until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
Add the garlic and spices and sauté until fragrant.
Add the onion mixture to the rice and mix gently. Add the pineapple and rice-wine vinegar and gently incorporate.
Season with salt to taste.
Serve with chicken, fish or seafood.
This recipe is modified from Molly Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven.