Puli Inji is a must-do Kerala pickle that finds a prominent place on a Ona Sadya platter. The ginger-jaggery ketchup-y dish is healthy and works as a perfect appetizer. With Thiruvonam just a few days away, aren’t you SO ready to taste a drop of sweet-and-tangy Puli Inji? So am I. And I did something about it to! Take a look:
- Ginger : 2″, minced or finely chopped
- Green chilles : 4, minced or finely chopped
- Curry leaves : 4-5
- Dried Red Chillies : 1-2, broken
- Mustard seeds : 1/2 teaspoon
- Cooking oil : 1 tablespoon
- Tamarind : 2 tablespoons (paste or the size of a lemon)
- Water : 3 cups
- Jaggery : 25-50 gm, grated
- Turmeric powder, Chilly powder, Asafoetida powder, Fenugreek powder : 1/4 teaspoon each
- Salt : a pinch
Heat some oil in a pan. Temper curry leaves, mustard seeds, and dried red chillies. Add the finely chopped ginger and green chilly pieces. Some folks like to grate the ginger. But if you like that nip you get when you bite into a piece of ginger, I strongly recommend that you simply chop! Fry until golden brown and drain off the excess oil on a tissue paper.
Now, mix tamarind paste in three cups of water. You could also use the extract of a lime-sized tamarind pulp (dissolved in half a cup of water). Melt the jaggery in some water and make a thick syrup. You may adjust the amount of jaggery depending on the sweetness quotient you are aiming at. Some folks like to use brown sugar instead of jaggery. My suggestion is — stick to the jaggery.
Now, in a large pot, bring the tamarind water and jaggery syrup to boil. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, fenugreek powder and asafoetida. Allow the gravy to simmer, thicken, and reduce. This might take 40 minutes or so.
Finally, add the fried ginger and chilly pieces, boil the gravy one more time.
Serve Puli Inji with some steamed rice Or just dig your finger in and take a lick!
Preethi is a photographer, content designer, traveler, and food blogger. She is a trained journalist and editor. After ten years of corporate life (as an instructional designer, author, editor, children’s writer, AND a cub reporter), she got off the grind to do her thing. When she is not scouring for recipe inspirations and taking photographs, she likes to read, write, and sing. She is passionate about Malayalam movies and is fiercely proud of her Indian roots. Preethi is also one half of the husband-wife team of shutterbugs who form PA Photography. For more of Preethi’s Onam recipes, visit: blackhairedgenie.com