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.