Inji puli is a sweet and tangy pickle served for traditional Kerala Sadhya . It is an Instant pickle variety made ginger pickled in tamarind and jaggery sauce. it is the perfect blend of heat, tang, spice and sweetness. This helps in balancing the flavors of other preparations and cleanses the palette and aids digestion. (Originally posted in November 2012 updated the post with new photos)
How is this ginger pickle different ?
- This is super sweet version of inji puli Palakkad special, yet another ancestral home recipe.
- Dark, aged tamarind is only used to make it.
- Darkest jaggery is only used
- A big difference here is ginger is not fried.
- Jaggery and ginger are used in equal proportion or slightly more for sweetness.
- Least fibrous variety of ginger is used and it is minced finely for making puli inji.
Points to note:
- Tamarind needs to be dissolved properly before the cooking process starts to extract the maximum pulp.
- If using ball jaggery it is hard to pound into powder. Either scrape with a knife to powder to easiest is leave it dissolved along with tamarind. Remember to use hot water to speed up the process.
Inji puli is one of the three instant pickles made for sadhya. The other two being hot instant mango pickle and lemon pickles that appears on the left most corner of the banana leaf in a traditional feast(sadhya). puli inji balances the fiery spice and heat or the other two pickles and balances flavors.
Sadhya is the elaborate traditional feast or banquet in Malayalam. It is a vegetarian feast prepared in large quantities by specially traditionally trained chefs. Sadhya is made for all happy occasions big and small like birthdays, weddings, harvest festivals like Onam and Vishu. During 16th day of bereavement too a sadhya is made with fewer but specific items.
Make a big batch and keep in an air tight glass or ceramic bottle in a cool dry place and the pickle will stay good for uptown 2-3 weeks but refrigeration can prolong its life for up to 3 months. Once you start using keep a small quantity in separably to avoid opening the main bottle often.
Inji puli / Sweet and sour ginger pickle
- 4-6 inch piece Ginger About the size of ur palm. Chop it very fine.
- Tamarind About the size of small lemon or 2 tsp of paste
- Jaggery same quantity as the ginger u are using.
- 2-3 Green chili cut into thin rounds
- 1 tsp Mustard
- 1 Whole red chili
- 1 sprig Curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Use gingerly oil or sesame oil
- Dissolve tamarind and jaggery together in 1 cup water. Do it before you start even chopping ginger.
- Heat oil crackle mustard then add red chili, curry leaves and green chili saute for two minutes then add the tamarind and jaggery dissolved mixture carefully Make sure to sieve properly so no impurities or pulp falls.)
- When the mixture begins to boil add the ginger (it cooks well in the heat as it is finely chopped)and salt let it boil on low medium flame till the whole thing reduces to a thick but falling consistency. As it cools the mixture will become really thick so plan accordingly.When cool store in clean dry bottle.
- Serve only 1 -2 tsps along with rice or other curries etc but ideally for a sadhya.
Use the darkest tamarind and jaggery available for authentic color.
How the sweet and spicy ginger pickle is served on a regular day ?
Mix yogurt and rice and serve it with some ginger pickled this helps in digestion settle excessive body heat and regain taste. This combination can be had when recovering from illnesses such as fever. Do not have the pickle like a dip as excessive amounts can cause diarrhea.
Hope you will give this recipe a try and let me know.