Today I am going to share with you another traditional Kerala dish.It is Puli Inji - Ginger curry. This is actually considering as a pickle and is one of the main dish in Kerala feast. We mainly serve 2 or 3 pickles in the feast: ginger, mango and lemon. This puliinji is one of them.
There is a story behind the deliciousness of the pickle.I don't know whether you guys heard about the story of Vararuchi who was a member of King Vikramaadithyan's court, (around 300 AD). When he was searching for a girl as his partner, he set four conditions (to find out smart & intelligent girl - :) ). One of the condition was the girl should prepare 101 curry for his lunch. He visited so many home but none of them could satisfy these conditions. At last he reached a poor peasant's home. An old man and his grand-daughter lived there . He told them about the reason of his visit and explained the conditions. The girl assured all his conditions. You might be thinking that the girl prepared 101 curries for his lunch, No, she just prepared the ginger curry which is same for preparing that many curries!.
We prepare the pickle day before the feast so that we can keep it overnight and will be perfect for the next day's feast. We can use this for a week or two by keeping it in a refrigerator.On Onam festival, Amma used to prepare these pickles on Uthradam day night. I always help her for cleaning &cutting the veggies. But she never let me cook any dishes especailly this ginger curry..The important part of preparing this is frying the ginger and we should be very careful while doing that..if we burn it, the entire curry gets spoiled and loses its taste. In those days I was not that serious about cooking..sure, once she let me do the cooking the next day feast would be in trouble:(. I always enjoy the festivals..because it is a best time to enjoy with parents and family members.
It is a very delicious pickle. The best part is that it is good for digestion too That's why it is included as a member of the heavy feast:)). Amma used to prepare this pickle in many different ways.Sometimes mom do not use jaggery..if u r not using the jaggery/sugar you can enjoy the real tangy taste of the tamarind in the curry. Sometimes amma used to add Pearl onions while frying the ginger..But this version can not be kept for long time.Usually i prefer to prepare this curry on festival time especially Onam and vishu..but this time i just prepared it as per my husband's request.Usually you can keep the ginger pickle for a week or two in the refrigerator...Never use wet spoons, it will get fungal.If u get a chance, try this puliinji, rice and curd. very delicious combo... We like it very much.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Cost of the item:0.99 usd/pound
Oil for frying
Ginger -2big root
Green chili -10 nos
For the curry
Tamarind - one lemon size
Chili powder - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water - 1/2cup
Jaggery - small portion
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Red chili - 2 nos
Curry leaves - 1spring
- Cut the Ginger and green chili into very small pieces.
- Heat oil in a pan.fry the Ginger and green chili until get nice brown color.keep the fried Ginger-green chili mix on a kitchen tissue paper(u can avoid the excess oil).
- Once it gets cool, grind the fried Ginger chili mix and make a nice powder. Do not add water while grinding
- Extract the tamarind juice
- Mix the chilipowder coriander powder and the tamarind juice. Add 1/2cup of water.
- Add the Grinded Ginger into the tamarind-chili juice and mix well
- Heat oil in a pan add the musatrd seeds,once it started spluttering, add the red chili and curry leaves,sauté for sometime.
- Add the Ginger mix into the oil. Cook it until the gravy thickens.
- Add the jaggery and just heat for 30 seconds .
- Cut the ginger into very small pieces..if u do not have time to cut the ginger jush crush it using the mixer then fry it.Go not make a paste ..just crush it..
- Make a nice powder of the fried ginger using the mixer(let the fried one to cool down)
- you can add sugar instead of jaggery.