Kaitha Chaka Pachadi (Spicy Pineapple Yogurt)

by0| PUBLISHED Jul 21, 2014 4:58 PM
Kaitha Chaka Pachadi (Spicy Pineapple Yogurt)
This zippy raita gets its punch from green Thai chiles and its sweetness from pineapple. A piquant mixture of black mustard seeds, dried red chiles, and curry leaves lends the sauce an earthy spice. Get the recipe for Spicy Pineapple Yogurt (Kaitha Chaka Pachadi) ». Ingalls Photography

At the Indian table, yogurt-based raitas mollify the tongue-searing effect of chiles. This spicy-sweet pineapple raita from Kerala has a backbone of earthy spice thanks to a mix of black mustard seeds, dried red chiles, and curry leaves. Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India (Wiley, 1988), it first appeared in our August/September 2014 special India issue with Mari Uyehara's story Supporting Cast.

Yield: makes 2 CUPS


  • 1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tbsp. desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> small pineapple (about 11 oz.), peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 3 dried chiles de árbol
  • 1 cup plain full-fat yogurt
  • 3 small green Indian chiles or 1 serrano, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Place coconut and cumin in a spice grinder; grind into a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 1 tbsp. water; set paste aside.
  2. Bring sugar, pineapple, and ½ cup water to a simmer in a 12” nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add reserved coconut paste and cook until fragrant, 2–3 minutes; let cool.
  3. Heat oil in a 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard; cook until seeds begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add curry leaves and dried chiles; cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Stir whole spices, yogurt, chopped chiles, and salt into pineapple mixture.