Recipe for Puli Inji – a condiment prepared using ginger and tamarind as the main ingredients, a mainstay of Onam Sadya | Ginger and Tamarind Chutney
If you’ve tasted Puli Inji once, I bet you cannot type or read these words without salivating. Such is the reaction of the senses to this simple condiment, which is anything but simple in its flavours. It’s one of the dishes that is served as a part of Onam Sadya. It also occupies place of pride on a banana leaf in quite a few Tamil Brahmin wedding lunches.
Don’t reserve this condiment for Onam Sadya alone. You can prepare this as an instant pickle that can stay for a few days in the refrigerator. It tastes sensational with a simple curd-rice. The perfect balance of sour-spice-sweet-salty flavours is bound to get your mouth watering even if your tastebuds are feeling a little dead.
A tip to preparing a really good Puli Inji:
Keep tasting as you go, because tamarind, chilli, ginger, jaggery – all can have varying intensity of flavour depending on the variety used. Though you cannot modify the quantity of ginger midway through the recipe, the other three ingredients i.e. green chillies, tamarind and jaggery can be adjusted to get a perfect balance of flavours. You can even use some red chili powder when the puli inji is simmering.