Puli Inji or Inji curry or Tamarind and ginger relish is one of my favorite items on the Sadya leaf. The perfect balance of sweet, spicy, sharp and sour is almost magical if you get it right. And this recipe will tell you exactly how to get it right.
I had first tasted Puli Inji I think in a Tamil Sapad spread and the explosion of flavors in my mouth just blew my mind. It was spicy, sharp, sweet and sour. And I don’t think there was anything in Indian cuisine I had eaten which came close to it. It fascinated me with its flavors and taste and came to become my favorite relish from the South of India.
I had it again a couple of years later at an Onam Sadya cooked by a friend. And that is when I realized that it is also an integral part of Kerala cuisine. I have been roughly making this for 4 years now and the first time I cooked this was when I slaved to make the complete Sadya. I used Nags recipe at that time as I recall but over time my recipe has evolved and mostly influenced by this friend’s recipe. There aren’t many differences but those small things make a mark as well. Like I don’t use heeng (asafoetida) in my puli inji anymore. I feel I like the clear taste of ginger better. I also like it slightly loose or thinner than what most places serve. Not watery, just not very solid-ish if you get what I am saying.
Actually, on that note, I have a slight confusion. Does anyone what is the real difference between Inji Curry and Puli Inji, if there really is one? When Chitra sent me this recipe, she called it Inji Curry and we went back and forth on what really is the difference between the two. I did my research and she asked around in her family and we both couldn’t point to anything. In the end, what my research says is that it is the region wise name of the same/similar dish. Do you think that is what it is?
But whatever it is, it is a dish which is lip-smackingly delicious and here is the recipe my friend’s family recipe for the same.
Do try this and when you do share a picture with me. Tag #sinamon on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I would love to hear from you. The good things, the brick bats and if you want any clarifications about the recipe. And yes tell me if you know the difference between Puli Inji and Inji curry.
Onam Recipes : Puli Inji | Inji Curry | Tamarind & Ginger Relish
- 100 grams fresh ginger
- 2 green chilli
- 2 tbsp jaggery grated
- lemon size tamarind
- 1.5 tsp red chilly powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- curry leaves
- 1 dry red chilli
- With very little oil, fry the ginger and green chilli together. Bring it to light brown in colour. Once fried, cool it down and grind into powder. Keep aside
- Take a lemon sized ball of tamarind and make a watery paste. Add salt to taste and red chili powder to it. Inji curry is sweet, tangy and hot.
- Heat the coconut oil in a tadka pan and fry mustard seeds, dry red chilli and curry leaves. Pour on top of the ginger mixture and it is ready to be eaten
Lata Sunil says
Puli Inji has jaggery added which gives it a sweet taste. But Inji curry is made of only ginger. It is spicy and hot minus the sweet taste. I love both of them.
According to my friend who sent the recipe, Inji Curry has jaggery as well and I can’t really imagine such a strong ginger and tamarind flavor without balancing it with a bit of jaggery
Lata Sunil says
maybe it is a regional thing. My mom makes inji curry which is only ginger. It is excellent. This curry is not made in husband’s place as they make puli inji which is sweet and they do not make inji curry.
I agree with Lata . In the southern districts of Kerala , we make Inji curry. The Ginger + Spice flavor dominates this curry. We do not OR add just a pinch of sweetener. My mom does not add jaggery/sugar . Puli Inji is a balanced Ginger , Spice & Sweet Curry.