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Anannas Mhoramba – Pineapple Jam

Anannas Mhoramba is one of those dishes which instantly transports me to my childhood home in Donald House, Colaba. My grandmother from Bhatkal made the best mhoramba. Not too sweet and not too sour. Best eaten with warm chapattis! I remember using my fingers to wipe the plate of any traces and then licking them clean. It was that good! As kids we used to spread it on chapattis, roll and pack it for a school snack.

Its been decades since I had any good mhoramba. A few weeks ago, one of my aunts asked for a recipe and that got me thinking: why not make it myself. Actually I had tried it several times in the past here in the US. The pineapples here are just too sour and if you add too much sugar, the whole thing carmelizes and you’ll need an axe to hack it.

Finally a stoke of genius – BTW, I get about a 100 of these per day 😉 Why not try it with Canned Pineapples? I put together a recipe and it worked just great. Lets just say, I don’t complain about dinner anymore – I just reach for the chapattis and mhoramba, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even for a snack. It is not to runny and not to dense. Not too sugary – when it zings the teeth; and not too sour. Heaven! Svarga! this must be it. Since I am not a sadist, I am including a simple recipe as well. Try it and let me know what you think.

Pineapple Mhoramba:

  • 1 medium can (375 -450 gms) of crushed Pineapple in its own juice (not “in syrup”).
  • 1 medium can of Pineapple “chunks” in its own juice.
  • Open the cans and pour out about half of the juice.
  • Pour remaining in a medium non-stick saucepan (saves you the cleaning)
  • Add two cups of sugar on top – don’t have to worry about mixing it.
  • Simmer for about 45 minutes. You should just see some bubbling.
  • Use a wooden spatula and stir if you want to feel involved and hard working. I just twirl the saucepan. Its not going to burn because the heat is on very low.
  • Separately use a mortar and pestle to crush about 20 seeds of cardamon (elaichi; the seeds from about three cloves, peeled). Add to the simmering stuff.
  • Add three cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • About ten strands of kesar (saffron)
  • A fifth of a nutmeg freshly grated straight into the pot. Be careful – some folks find this too strong.
  • Let it simmer for another 45 minutes, with gentle mixing or twirling. You should see the color change to a light brown and the pineapples condensed to about half. You can let it simmer for a little bit longer if you want it a bit thicker.

That’s it! You did it!

If you made it, you get to try it out when it is still warm. If you don’t have chapattis, try it with whole wheat bread. Yumm!

I spoon it to a clean jar when it is still warm, allow to cool on the counter overnight and then cap tightly. No need to refrigerate – we always leave it in the pantry. If you are doing the cleanup, count your blessings. You get to lick the spoon clean.

By mixing the crushed and chunks of pineapple, I get a nice mix of spreadable mush and some chunks.

Any comments, or suggestions for improvements, or what to eat it with are always welcome.
Enjoy!

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