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I am a big fan of using up store cupboard ingredients and February is a prefect time to de-clutter the kitchen cupboards.

Strove Tuesday falls on the  25th February. Perfect timing.

I came across a tin of pineapples and coconut milk. I love sweet and spicy flavours and thought I would marry them up together and create a delicious curry using some of my favourite spice combinations.

Star anise –

It contains the flavour compound called anethol when you nibble on a piece of  star anise straight from the spice tin,  it create a sweet pleasurable liquorice taste. i remember seeing this in my mums spice tin when I was young cook and loved its shape. It stood out from the others. I also remember a friend took this spice into school and we talked about it during a home economics lesson. Ironically I took along fennel seeds which gave similar flavours with a little rustic notes and makes a perfect mouth freshener and aids digestion.

It works very well with sharp fruits such as pineapple.


So here is my concoction of tinned store cupboard finds,  spices from shelves and spice tin, curry leaf from the freeze and leftover fresh coriander leaf.

Sweet, Sour, Spicy Pineapple Curry

Serves 2



2 tspn ghee or unsalted butter

1 fresh green finger chilli – finely chopped

1 tin  432g pineapple chunks in juice – (259g drained weight chunks) juice removed and reserved

3-4 tbsp full fat coconut milk – whisked

½ tsp. salt (to taste)

100ml pineapple juice (reserved from the tin)


Spices for tempering:

  • ¼ tsp black mustard seed
  • 1 whole dried red chilli
  • 10 curry leaves (I used fresh but dried would be ok too)
  • 2 whole star anise


Dry ingredients to be put onto the small plate:

  • ½  tsp turmeric
  • large pinch of mustard powder (I crushed them into a  mortar and pestle )
  • 5-6 saffron strands


A 6 sprigs of fresh coriander leaves and stalks– washed and chopped



  1. In a shallow frying pan, add the ghee/butter and heat on a medium setting, add the whole dried chilli, star anise, after they begin to sizzle, add the black mustard seed allow to pop and then the curry leaves.
  2. Stir for a few seconds and quickly add the drained pineapple chunks and turmeric.
  3. Turn up the heat and stir until all the pineapple chunks are coated in the aromatic spiced ghee/butter. Continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until the pineapple begins to turn golden around the edges.
  4. Meanwhile combine the mustard powder, saffron, freshly chopped finger chilli and salt into the coconut milk. Stir well releasing the saffron colour into the milk. Pour into the saucepan.  Stir well and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the pineapple is soft but still has a crunchy bite.
  6. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the coconut milk has thickened to give a rich sticky sauce (see image below)
  7. Season with salt and if you have a sweet tooth add a pinch of sugar or extra tablespoon of pineapple juice.
  8. Finally garnish with chopped coriander.

This is a side dish to accompany a meal.

It will also make a perfect filling for pancakes as a savoury sweet option.

Serve with a dollop of coconut yoghurt or ice cream and a sprinkle of desiccated coconut.


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