Devilled Pineapple (Annasi Thel Dala)
An Exotic, Sweet-Sour-Spicy Treat
Annasi Thel Dala: Devilled, Stir-Fried Pineapple
You might never have tasted annasi thel dala (අන්නාසි තෙල් දාල in Sinhala) before, but you’re probably familiar with recipes like devilled eggs or devilled kidneys. The Oxford dictionary defines devilled food as food that’s cooked with hot seasoning. It’s not surprising then that devilled food is extremely popular in Sri Lanka. After all, Sri Lankan cuisine is the home of some of the spiciest foods in the world. Sri Lankans often refer specifically to Chinese food when they call a dish “devilled”. Annasi thel dala would be more correct to translate as “stir-fried pineapple”. The this-dish-is-ridiculously-spicy part is more or less a given, seeing as we’re talking about Sri Lankan food here.
Pineapple is said to increase the appetite and you will find it served at feasts in Sri Lanka. Annasi thel dala is the kind of recipe that is just typical for Sri Lanka. It’s a wonderful combination of sweet, sour and spicy flavours. Despite its pronounced flavour, annasi thel dala is a side dish that matches a huge variety of different foods. It goes amazingly well with all kinds of curries and rice.
1 lb fresh pineapple (or two tins of canned pineapple)
2 tbsp ground chili pieces
1 medium sized onion
3 branches of curry leaves
2 inches of pandan leaves
salt to taste
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar
1. Peel the pineapple, cut out the center of the pineapple (as we won’t be using it) and cut the rest into small pieces of 1/2 inch size max.
2. Put pineapple, chili pieces, salt and 1/2 cup of water in small unheated pot.
3. Bring to boiling point, then lower fire and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Turn off fire as soon as the water dissipates.
5. Get a second small frying pan, add vegetable oil and heat on low fire.
6. Add onions, curry leaves, rampe and fry until light brown.
7. Add pineapple mixture and sugar.
8. Stir for 1 minute on medium fire.
9. Simmer for 5 minutes on low fire.
Enjoy this tasty Sri Lankan dish!