July 30, 2017

Sarawakian Local Delights : Pecari Nenas

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In the olden days, the natives of Sarawak did not use many spices in their cooking. However with more contacts with the Indians, Arabs and the Malays in coastal areas, they have started to use cinnamon, star anise , cloves and curry leaves and even grow them in their gardens.

Curry paste can be made from curry powder sold in tins or bottles and hence curries are often served in longhouses and kampongs even in the upper reaches of rivers.

Pecari Nenas or special pineapple chutney is often served when a gathering is held in the longhouse in Sarawak. In fact it is an easy dish to make as pineapple is often grown in the farm or around the longhouse.

This is also one dish boarding schools serve in the olden days, introduced by Indian and Malay teachers I was told.

Once the frying pan is heated up, oil is added to fry crushed cinnamon, star anise, cloves and curry leaves till fragrant. Then add the curry paste (made from curry powder), dried prawns and continue to fry for a few minutes. Add some water if necessary. Add sliced pineapples and some water. Bring to the boil and continue to cook until the pineapples absorb the "curry" and becomes tender and sweet. That will be about 10 minutes. Finally add coconut milk, salt and sugar and cook for another 5 minutes. Add more water if you like a thinner sauce.

Note : When you wish to prepare for a group of 30 people, you might need 3 medium sized pineapples and adjust your spices and coconut milk.

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