Ansaphansa chi bhaji is an authentic sweet, sour and spicy dish from the Maharashtrian cuisine made with ripe pineapple, jackfruit and mangoes cooked in creamy delicious gravy. This dish has an incredible fruity medley of flavours and is very refreshing to the palate.
Ansaphasachi bhaji or pineapple & jackfruit curry is considered to be a delicacy generally prepared during weddings or special occasions. It is an exotic, delicate and popular summer preparation in the Konkan region and Goa. Made with ripe fruits like pineapple, jackfruit and mangoes, it does give a very juicy, has sweet and sour mixed flavours and heavenly to taste. The fruits are cooked in a coconut base curry with spiciness from garam masala and goda masala but predominantly having a sweetish taste.
Ansaphasachi bhaji is mildly spiced and a very humble and attractive dish to look. Jackfruit, one of the excellent ingredients in this dish, is one of the biggest and most impressive fruits grown in most tropical countries. To prepare this dish, generally the jackfruits should be sweet, crunchy and should not be overripe. Jackfruit is popularly available all over the world and is either cooked with rice or eaten raw. In India, especially in the state of Kerala, jackfruit is eaten raw or used in curries, soup and stews. The raw variety is used for making a variety of curries and chips such as raw jackfruit curry, jackfruit and aloo curry, chakka curry, raw jackfruit biryani etc.
Pineapple, another ingredient in this dish is a versatile fruit used in a variety of dishes such as cakes, pies, puddings, salads, juice, shakes etc. It is mainly used for its sweet and sour taste. Adding pineapple in a bowl of salad with a smattering of fresh mint leaves and a dash of lemon juice is truly divine, refreshing accompaniment for any rich main course. Pineapple can be added to sweet and savory dishes. Some of my favourites are pineapple curry (a very popular Srilankan dish), Pineapple kesari, Spicy Pineapple fried rice, Pineapple pastry and many more. Pineapples contain a powerful protein-dissolving enzyme called bromelin which is capable of digesting a thousand times its own weight in protein. It is this digestive capability that has resulted in the promotion of fresh pineapple diets for weight loss.
Summers arrive and most of us eagerly wait for the ripe mangoes to come out. The king of fruits, very sweet to taste, attractive to love and kids love eating. Addition of ripe mango pulp in this recipe enhances the sweetness and flavours of this dish. They are extremely popular and may be used for stewed fruits, mango fruit jam, fruit cakes, aam ras, ripe mango morekootan, mango shake, mango lassi etc.
Ansaphansachi bhaji may sound strange, but the result tastes ever more delicious that the recipe looks strange. To prepare this wonderful delicacy, firstly heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and when it gets hot enough, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, hing, turmeric powder, garam masala, goda masala. Take about 10-12 whole red chillies and ½ coconut and make a fine paste of this and add to the above mixture.
Cook over a slow flame till oil oozes out in the sides. Add salt and mix well. When the masala is nicely cooked and the raw flavours are gone, then add the pineapple and jackfruit pieces, mix and then add about a cup of water, cover and cook on a slow flame for 5 minutes or until they become soft. Add ripe mango pieces and mix. Add 2 tbsp of crushed mango pulp and mix well and cook for another 1-2 minutes and the dish is ready to be served. Serve with poori, bhakri or rice.
Tips: Adjust the consistency by adding very little water. If the dish is sour, then add little jaggery for sweetness.
Next time, when you find these fruits in abundance, just pick up the ripe ones and try this recipe. It’s truly divine, refreshing with unique flavours. Click on the below link to view the making of this dish: