Pacri Nanas, Malay Spiced Pineapple

Pacri Nanas, Malay Spiced Pineapple


Pacri Nanas is a Malay dish that is popular in Indonesia (West Kalimantan and Sumatra such as Riau island and Medan) and Malaysia.  Malay or melayu is an ethnic group that resides in Malaysia (14,749,378), Brunei (261,902) as a majority population, and Indonesia (8,789,585), Thailand (3,354,475), Singapore (653,449) as a minority population.

In Sumatra and Kalimantan (Borneo) where many Malay descendants live, Pacri nanas is usually served as a party food to company other heavy and rich coconut dishes.  The reason, we believe that pineapple can balance out the consumption of high-cholesterol foods.  As you can tell the food is a marriage between Middle East and Malay cultures.  Sweet, tangy, spicy and refreshing are the taste that you will get from Pacri Nanas.

Based on these two sources, Tabloid Nova and mbak Riana of For the Love of Baking, I recreated my Pacri Nanas recipe.

Pacri Nanas
– Malay Spiced Pineapple –

1 fresh pineapple
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cm cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 green cardamom pods, cracked open with the flat side of a knife
10 fennel seeds
3 Indonesian bay (salam) leaves
3 cm ginger, scrapped and bruised
2 red long cayenne peppers (I used Thai red chilies), cut in half lengthwise, take off the seeds
2 green long chillies (I used green bird eyes chilies), cut in half lengthwise, take off the seeds
3 shallots (double up the amount if you use a smaller size), thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
150 ml water
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 calamansis*

1. Peel pineapple, cut into 8 sections lengthwise, cut off the core. Slice into 1 cm thick pieces.

2.  Heat oil in a skillet/wok over medium-low heat. When hot, add cinnamon, cloves, fennel, cardamom pods and Indonesian bay leaves and stir well to combine. Saute, stirring constantly until combined aroma of spices wafts up, about 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, shallots, chilies and curry powder; continue sauteeing often, until garlic and shallots have just wilted, about 3 minutes. Don’t let them change color.

3.  Stir in chilies, sugar and water.   Continue stirring until dissolved.  Add pineapple and salt, stirring to combine. Raise heat slightly to bring liquid to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until pineapple is a bit wilted, about 3 minutes.

4.  Taste for salt and add more as necessary.  Turn off th heat and squeeze calamansi over pineapple, stir well.  Transfer to a serving dish/bowl and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

* Substitute for any citrus source such as key lime, lime or lemon.

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