Ginger has many medicinal properties and is most commonly known for its effectiveness as a digestive aid. Inji curry is an inevitable part of the Kerala sadhya and is made from ginger, green chilies, tamarind and jaggery which lends it a hot, sour and sweet taste. I have heard that it is included in a sadhya in order to help aid digestion of the heavy feast. There is also a saying in Kerala that inji curry is equivalent to having a 101 curries. It is also known as puli inji in the northern part of Kerala and has many regional variations. This is my mother’s recipe for a hot and spicy inji curry. It goes well with idli/dosa too. It is one of my favorites. I am waiting to upload this post to have this inji curry with rice, yoghurt, pappad and idichakka-cherrupayar thoran. I think I will have my lunch first
Ingredients (Makes about 2 cups)
- Inji/Ginger – 350 gm (or 3/4 lb) cut into thin slices or finely chopped
- Shallots – 8 chopped fine (Optional. You do not need to use them if you are making it for sadya )
- Green chilies – 4 – 5 chopped fine
- Chilly powder – 3 – 4 tsp (adjust it according to your spice tolerance)
- Fenugreek powder/uluva podi – 1/2 tsp
- Hing/Asafoetida – A pinch (Optional)
- Tamarind/puli – Small lime-sized or to taste
- Jaggery – 2 tbsp or to taste
- Curry leaves – 3 sprigs
- Mustard – 1/2 tsp
- Dry red chilies – 2
- Coconut oil – 1/4 – 1/2 cup ( Or as required to fry ginger)
- Salt – To taste
1. Fry ginger pieces in oil until brown and crispy. When it cools down, coarsely grind in a mixie.
2. Soak the tamarind in warm water(around 1.5 cups) and extract its juice.
3. Heat oil in a deep pan (use the left-over oil from frying ginger ) and splutter mustard seeds. Add dry red chilies, chopped shallots (if you are using them) and saute until the shallots turn brown. Now add the green chilies, curry leaves and saute for a few more minutes.
4. Pour the strained tamarind extract to it. Bring it to a boil and add chilly powder, fenugreek powder and hing. Now add the ground ginger and jaggery. Mix well. Check for salt. Bring down the heat to low. Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes stirring in between and switch off. Adjust the gravy according to your consistency. I like to have a medium-thick consistency. You can store it in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. Use it like a pickle though I have it like a curry :).
1) You could also grate ginger instead of chopping it. Squeeze out the juice, fry and coarsely grind them in a mixie.
2) Add more green chilies, if you wish to avoid chilly powder.