Pineapple Murabba

I buy a fresh pineapple almost every week in the summer except when it is literally being given away. In that case, I get two. Love the fruit as madly as I do, I am horribly lazy about cleaning and prepping it. 

The key to committing, I find, is to bring the fruit back home, wash and slice the ends off straight away. In this Texas heat, it takes mere minutes for gnats to get news of these tasty landing spots. Just the stimulus to make haste. 

This past week, pineapples were on sale - two for $2.50. I caved but predictably, ignored my own advice and left the fruit sitting on the counter. By day five, you could smell them all the way in my room upstairs like an admonishment. Half an hour later, I had neatly portioned freezer containers of sweet pineapple for smoothies, chunks reserved in the fridge to snack on and some extra to put in my delicious Sweet and Sour Tofu with Vegetables. One whole fruit and a quarter of the second down.

Okay... Maybe a little less pineapple the next time..

Tofu squares with murabba are easily thrown together for an appetizer party.

Tofu squares with murabba are easily thrown together for an appetizer party.

..or maybe, I could just make murabba

The very mention of it takes me back to every relished bite from my high school friend Yamini's lunchbox. Her mum made killer mango murabba - a spiced, sweet and sour jam - just brilliant with soft Indian breads. Unfortunately,I never ever learned to make the condiment from her. All I could remember was that it called for green mangoes, a few spices and sugar but no blazing idea how much of anything or what spices exactly. 

What is good for the mango is good enough for the pineapple, it turned out. Created on-the-fly, purely from my taste memories, this recipe was the perfect use for the remaining three quarters. Spicier than I remember, with the bonus of no added-sugars, this jam, murabba or chutney, call it what you will, is definitely worth going pineapples over. 

Pineapple Murabba
Yields approximately 12oz. 

Fruit from 3/4 sweet pineapple, chunked
1/4 cup raisins or sliced dates (optional)
A big pinch ground cayenne
1" stick, cinnamon
A few grinds, black pepper
Sea salt to taste
1/2 tsp. each nigella, fennel and cumin seeds
Seeds from one green cardamom

Place all the fruit in a pan. Add the cinnamon stick, cayenne, ground pepper and salt. Cook covered on medium heat until soft. You won't need to add any water. There is plenty in the pineapple but do adjust the heat down if necessary to avoid burning. Remove the cinnamon stick and break down the fruit either with a potato masher. 

Powder the nigella, fennel, cumin and cardamom seeds until slightly coarse, using a spice grinder. 

Tip the ground spices into the pineapple mixture.  

Transfer into a glass jar and cool uncovered in the fridge. Screw the cap on once the murabba has cooled completely.