Puli inji recipe for Onam

Puli inji
Serves 6 – 8

  • 50 gms fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped, about 1/3 cup
  • tennis ball-size tamarind, washed and soaked in 1 ½ cup water; turned into a runny paste
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar / jaggery
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seed
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seed
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • Salt to taste


Heat ½ tbsp. of coconut oil in a pan and fry the chopped ginger and green chillies lightly. Add the red chilli powder and turmeric powder and stir.
Add the tamarind paste, palm sugar / jaggery and salt, bring it to a boil and simmer until it thickens.

Heat the remaining coconut oil in a frying pan, add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies to the hot oil and give it a quick stir. Pour this tempering into the reduced tamarind paste and mix well. Refrigerate overnight for the flavours to blend and develop further.

Shubha’s recipe for Puli Inji is fairly simple, resulting in a dish that is packed with flavours. The pungency of the ginger along with the sweet, sour and spicy notes will make this chutney-like dish a quick favourite among your guests. Not only is it eaten with curd dishes like a pickle but it can be eaten with the sweets as well to cut down the sweetness of overly sweet sweets.

Shubha Devdas attended school in Delhi and graduated with a degree in Interior Design from Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore. After spending about 12 years living abroad, she now calls Coimbatore her home. She may have never lived in Kerala but thanks to her sisters-in-law, she has picked up the culinary traditions of the Malabar Coast after her marriage.

Shubha enjoys cooking and baking for her friends and family. When she is not freelancing for design projects, she spends a considerable amount of time painting using various techniques. Her lovely home is filled with her own personal works of art. Her father was an artist and she seems to have inherited his creative and artistic skills no doubt. Even her daughters are artistically inclined, one of them a design consultant and the other a professional photographer.

Shubha recommends starting the Onam Sadya with the Pappadam Pazham. Every sadya will have a fried Kerala Pappadam served as a part of it. A ripe banana is also served on the banana leaf, as part of the sadya. Peel the banana and gently mash it with your fingers. Drizzle a little ghee on it followed by a sprinkle of crushed pappadam. Pappadam pazham is then ready to eat.

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