Puli Inji or Inji Puli (Ginger, Tamarind, and Jaggery Relish)

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Puli Inji, Inji Puli, or Ginger Tamarind, and Jaggery Relish
Puli Inji, Inji Puli, or Ginger Tamarind, and Jaggery Relish

Puli Inji (literally meaning Tamarind and Ginger) or Inji Puli as it is often called is a classic Kerala dish that explodes with flavour; the sourness of tamarind, the sweetness of jaggery, and of course, the bite of ginger.

I first had Puli Inji many, many moons ago as a part of a “set” we ordered for dinner from South Indian Concerns in Matunga, Mumbai. A “set” consists of a complete array of dishes needed for lunch or dinner. While the set include roti or puri, it normally does not include rice. A set normally consists of puri or chapati, one dry curry (thoran or poriyal), one kootu, sambhar, rasam, and typically, puli inji. The set can be a lifesaver on days when one is too tired to cook, and the quantity is more than enough for two meals for a family like mine.

Puli Inji is almost a staple in a Kerala Sadya (festive meal) and I absolutely love having it with curd rice or then dosa or idli.

Time: 30 Minutes


  1. Fresh Ginger – 100 gms
  2. Thick Tamarind Pulp – 2 tbsp
  3. Jaggery – 75 gms
  4. Green Chillies – 4 or 5
  5. Red Chillies – 2
  6. Red Chilli Powder – 3/4 tsp
  7. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  8. Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
  9. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Water – 1 Cup
  11. Salt to Taste


  1. Peel and chop the ginger into very small pieces.
  2. Chop the green chillies into very small pieces.
  3. Grate the jaggery.
  4. In a wok, heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil.
  5. Add the ginger and green pieces and stir-fry till they turn to brown.
  6. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and mix well.
  7. Add tamarind paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  8. Add water and bring to a boil.
  9. Add grated jaggery and cook over slow fire till the mix thickens.
  10. Add salt and mix well.
  11. In a ladle, heat 1 tsp Coconut oil.
  12. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  13. Add split red chillis and curry leaves.
  14. Stir fry for a minute.
  15. Add to the Puli Inji and mix well.
  16. Let it rest for at least an hour.
  17. Store in a sterilized glass jar.




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