In Mexican cuisine Pico de Gallo is a fresh, uncooked salad made of chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, fresh chilli peppers and lime juice. Pineapple Pico de Gallo is a popular variation where fresh or grilled pineapple chunks are added to make the salad juicier and to add a different flavour dimension to it.

I love to convert my salads into complete light meals for lunch time. Adding some quick protein like chicken or shrimps does the job for me and immensely pleases my chicken loving family.
I have been making this salad for sometime now but recently a good friend on Google+ shared a post about chilli oil. You know how hard it is for me to resist anything with chillies in it. From that day on I have been trying to weave a recipe around the chilli oil. Many things came to mind, like pasta, fish or chicken fillet but my heart gave thumbs up to adding it to a salad. And boy am I glad I listened to my heart!

I made a quick and easy version of chilli oil and added spices for a deeper flavour and aroma. The hot smokiness that the chilli oil added to each crunchy, juicy and meaty bite is a food experience you would crave for and love to repeat time and again.

You can double/triple the chilli oil recipe and save it in a sterilised jar to add to your pasta or dip freshly baked bread into it later on. For a vegetarian version you can replace chicken with red kidney beans.


:For Chicken Pineapple Pico de Gallo

1/2 kg boneless chicken, cut into strips
2 cups pineapple chunks, canned or fresh
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 cucumbers or avocados , sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste


For Chilli Oil:

1/2 cup olive oil
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
4-5 black pepper corns
1 bay leaf
4 dried red chilli peppers
2 tablespoons red chilli flakes