Chilly Ginger pickle
Like a true malayalee, I have selected inji puli as my first pickle recipe 🙂 . This is an absolute malayalee favourite and a must in sadhya. As the name suggests ginger and chillies are the main ingredients, along with tamarind and jaggery to balance the spiciness. It is an instant pickle and can be consumed immediately after preparation.
Though the ingredients remain the same, everyone has their own way of preparing. The chillies, tamarind and jaggery are increased or decreased based on how you like your inji puli to taste. Quite a few people prefer their inji puli to be sweet. For me it should be a balance of all 3 flavours.
Also traditionally the ginger and chillies are cut into fine pieces and cooked in thick tamarind sauce. But I prefer to mince the ginger and chillies, and also make a paste of the tamarind. This gives a kind of coarsely mashed inji puli, without the bite of ginger/chillies. But if you like to have it as pieces you can very well do that.
It goes well with all kinds of South Indian rice preparations. Or you can simply have it with curd(yogurt) rice. I can finish it off all by itself 😀 .
It can keep at room temperature for quite some time, that is around 15 days or more. But you have to use atleast this quantity of oil. Under refrigeration it can keep for more than 3 months, though it never lasts that long in our house.
Pickles cannot be classified under healthy foods. But still without vinegar and preservatives, this one is definitely way better. Rice eating people of South East Asia, should definitely give this a try. I bet you will fall in love with it as much as we are 🙂 .
Over to the recipe…
- 50 g ginger
- 25 g tamarind(1 gooseberry size)
- 20 g green chilly(4 long less spicy chillies)
- 15 g jaggery
- 2 tsps salt(or as needed)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp urad dal
- pinch fenugreek seeds
- few curry leaves
- pinch turmeric powder
- pinch hing/asafoetida
- Make a smooth paste of tamarind with 1/4th cup of water and set aside. In the same mixer mince the ginger and chillies together.
- In a sauce pan take 2tbsp of oil preferably coconut oil. Add mustard dal and urad dal. Once it splutters add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
- Next add the minced chilly-ginger, and saute well for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the tamarind paste, 1/3rd cup of water, salt, jaggery, hing and turmeric powder. Add another tbsp of coconut oil when most of the water evaporates.
- Heat in a moderate flame, till it oozes out oil. Serve as you would, any pickle.
- Cool down before transferring to a clean dry container.
- Addition of chillies will totally depend on preference as well as the type of chilly. For the thin normal spiced chillies I use 6 of them weighing 10g. If you are using even smaller spicy ones, you may have to reduce even more.
- These measurements were perfect for me using the long plump chillies, though hubby felt it was a bit spicy. So if you are not for spicy dishes, reduce the number of chillies. You can always add a bit of chilly powder, just in case it seems low on spice, later
- Ideally, any pickle should have a balance of salt, chilly and tangy flavours.
- The addition of oil prevents it from getting mouldy.