Pineapple chutney

Serves 8-10 Sauces and accompaniments

Pineapple Chutney 220321 156359



  • 1 small sweet pineapple (approx. 750g)
  • 200g jaggery, chopped
  • 6g chilli powder
  • 5g salt flakes
  • 3g freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 4g cardamom powder


Peel the pineapple and roughly chop, core and all, into small triangles or 2cm chunks. Don’t worry too much about the shape as it all gets chopped again – it’s more important to ensure the chunks are a similar size. Put them in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well so the jaggery almost melts and coats the pineapple.

Heat a large frying pan (preferably non-stick) over a high heat, then spoon in enough of the pineapple mix to form a single layer no more than 2cm high. Leave it to sit undisturbed for 2–3 minutes until the jaggery starts to catch and the pineapple has taken on a bit of colour. Continue cooking for another 7–8 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the mixture starts to look almost burnt.

Transfer the charred pineapple to a clean bowl and repeat with the remaining mixture, including any liquid that has pooled in the bottom of the bowl.

Set aside all the cooked pineapple until it is cool enough for you to touch it, and remove the star anise. Turn it out on to a chopping board (it should be sticky and a little saucy) and run a knife or cleaver through it. Chop it to your preferred consistency, in batches if necessary, but keep it reasonably chunky.

Taste the chutney and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You want to be able to taste all the spices, particularly the black pepper, and the sweetness should be tempered by a darker charred flavour.

Eat straightaway or transfer it to sterilised jars and keep in the fridge. Serve at room temperature.

This recipe is from the April 2022 issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe today, click here.

Recipes and photographs taken from Lanka Food by O Tama Carey, photography by Anson Smart (Hardie Grant, £26).
Pineapple Chutney 220321 156359
Recipes and photographs taken from Lanka Food by O Tama Carey, photography by Anson Smart (Hardie Grant, £26).


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