Inji Puli (aka Puli Inji)

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And thus starts the Onam recipes. Inji puli is my favourite side dish for Onam. A typical Friday for us back home is vegetarian. Religious reasons for my mum, which we kind of like cos we get to eat the best of vegetarian food. Lunch is typically sambar, erussery/avail, pachchadi or inji puli and of course pappadam. Very different from the pappads you get elsewhere, pappadams puff up like a puri and are light and crispy and give a completely different dimension to a veg meal.

Inji puli is a chutney. Translated it means ginger tamarind. As simple as that. Like most other things from Kerala, we're not masters of faff, we say it as it is, a little blunt around the edges you could say.
It is a sublime combination of root spice from ginger, sourness from tamarind and sweetness from jaggery. A balance of all three is essential You can keep adjusting the recipe till you strike a balance.

This is my first time trying out inji puli. It turned out pretty good, a little surprising. I wasn't expecting it to. The only advantage I have over people who haven't tried making this before is, I've eaten it before. A lot! Dipped my finger in it and licked it all the while for every sadya.

If you want to skip the pics and get to the recipe, please go ahead. I just gave the pics to more or less give an idea of the ingredients.

4 inch ginger skinner and chopped fine (not grated)

4 green chillis chopped fine One sprig curry leaf

1 inch diameter ball of tamarind soaked in 1 cup water and drained

1 inch cube of jiggery
Warm Coconut Oil for tempering
Temper Mustard Seeds

Add ginger & chillis I've obviously lost it by now

The water drained from the tamarind and jaggery and added to the ginger mix
4"             ginger skinned and chopped fine
4               green chillis chopped fine
1               sprig curry leaf
1"             tamarind ball
1 cup       water
1"            jaggery cube
1tsp         mustard seeds
1tsp         fenugreek seeds powdered
1/2tsp      asafoetida
1tbsp       coconut oil
Salt to taste
Chop ginger and green chillis.
Soak tamarind in water for 10 mins and drain and use water. Squeeze all the juice out of the tamarind ball.
Warm coconut oil in a wok.
Temper mustard seeds and curry leaves in the coconut oil.
Add ginger and chillis and stir for a minute.
Pour the tamarind water into the wok. Add jaggery.
Stir while the jaggery melts.
The ginger cooks slowly in the tamarind water and jaggery as it reduces to a thicker consistency.
Add fenugreek powder and asafetida towards the end. Stir. The fenugreek powder helps in thickening the injipuli.
Voila! First dish for Onam ready.

If you're trying this recipe, please do share your feedback. It would help me improve
While I didn't have the rest of the dishes for onam today, I had a simple meal of rice, kaachimoru, carrot thoran and injipuli. It transported me back home and to simpler times.

PS: A lot of help from my maid. I'm not capable of cooking and taking pics together.
This is the way my mum makes it. You'll find the recipe more or less same as many others on the internet, plus or minus a few ingredients.

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