Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Puli Inji (Ginger Pickle in tamarind)

Puli Inji is a traditional pickle from my Tam Bram Iyengar Community. The spice from the chilies, zing from the ginger, sweetness from jaggery and the tangy taste from tamarind is an excellent combination of flavours, so complex and opens all your senses. 

I learnt this from the numero uno caterer named Patappa, who is very famous amongst  our community and happen to be our family friend. He also cooked the amazing wedding food of mine. 

I always thought that making this was very difficult. I was wrong. Infact it is very easy!!!

What you need:

  1. Ginger - 100 grams 
  2. Green chilly - 10 - 15 (increase/ decrease the number according to your spice preference)
  3. Tamarind - big lemon size
  4. Jaggery - lemon size ball 
  5. Salt - to taste
  6. Asafoetida - a pinch 
  7. Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
  8. Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
  9. Gingelly oil - 3 tbsp (the best is gingelly oil. If you don't get then sunflower oil is fine. Please don't use mustard or coconut oil, as it kills the flavour)
How to go about it:
  1. Clean, peel and cut the ginger into small length wise pieces. 
  2. Soak tamarind in luke warm water and extract a thick pulp.
  3. Slit the green chilies length wise. Leave the seeds in about 1/2 of them. De - seed the rest and keep aside. You might think that even half of the green chilies would be spicy. No, as days go by, the spice quotient will come down. 
  4. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek. Now add the ginger and green chilly and saute for few minutes.
  5. Now, add the thick tamarind extract, salt, jaggery and 1 cup of water. 
  6. Let the entire mixture bubble up nicely. This should boil and reduce to the consistency as shown in the picture. 
  7. Coll it down completely and refrigerate in an airtight container. The pickle should hold good for a minimum of 20 days. 
  8. Tastes good with curd rice, dosa, idly and my favorite combination!!! with hot filter coffee!!!

njoy with your loved ones..