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
- Fresh Ginger – 100 gms
- Thick Tamarind Pulp – 2 tbsp
- Jaggery – 75 gms
- Green Chillies – 4 or 5
- Red Chillies – 2
- Red Chilli Powder – 3/4 tsp
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Water – 1 Cup
- Salt to Taste
- Peel and chop the ginger into very small pieces.
- Chop the green chillies into very small pieces.
- Grate the jaggery.
- In a wok, heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil.
- Add the ginger and green pieces and stir-fry till they turn to brown.
- Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and mix well.
- Add tamarind paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- Add grated jaggery and cook over slow fire till the mix thickens.
- Add salt and mix well.
- In a ladle, heat 1 tsp Coconut oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add split red chillis and curry leaves.
- Stir fry for a minute.
- Add to the Puli Inji and mix well.
- Let it rest for at least an hour.
- Store in a sterilized glass jar.