Cook the Book: Yogurt with Pineapple

Cook the Book: Yogurt with Pineapple

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

Most Indian meals include a cucumber and yogurt-based raita, a cooling condiment that plays perfectly with heavily spiced curries. In At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, Madhur Jaffrey has incorporated all sorts of unexpected fruits and veggies—like apples, spinach, zucchini and tomatoes—into raitas.

Of all of these wonderful yogurt concoctions my favorite is this Yogurt with Pineapple. Sweet-tart pineapple is cooked down with a bit of sugar and shredded coconut that's blended with yogurt, chiles, toasted cumin and mustard seeds, then finished with caramelized shallots.

When all of the elements come together, the relish is sweetly cooling at first with a surprising blast of heat in the end. It's reminiscent of a yogurt-dressed version of Mexican mangoes dusted with chile powder—sweet and spicy in the best possible way. The browned shallots and toasted spices add a savoriness that balances out the fruit—it's almost more of a curry than a condiment.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of At Home with Madhur Jaffrey to give away this week.

Adapted from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey. Copyright © 2010. Published by Knopf. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:4


  • 2 cups fresh pineapple cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated coconut (use the frozen kind or use desiccated coconut)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2  teaspoons salt
  • 1 fresh hot green chili (such as bird’seye), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 hot dried red chilies
  • 10 fresh curry leaves or 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced shallots or onions cut into fine half rings 


  1. 1.

    Put the pineapple, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in a pan and bring to a simmer.
    Stir and cook over low heat until the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Add the coconut and stir once or twice. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

  2. 2.

    Put the yogurt in a bowl and beat lightly with a fork or whisk until
    smooth and creamy. Add the salt, green chili, and cooled pineapple-coconut mix. Stir to mix.

  3. 3.

    Put the oil in a small frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When
    hot, scatter in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and red chilies. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the curry leaves and shallots. Turn heat to medium. Stir and cook until the shallots start to brown.

  4. 4.

    Now pour all the contents of the frying pan into the bowl of pineapple yogurt and stir it in.