Puli Inji (Tamarind Ginger Pickle)

Puli Inji is a sweet and sour pickle made with tamarind and ginger. In the southern Indian state of Kerala, it is a delightful part of an Onam or Vishu sadhya meal. Try this pickle (chutney) recipe with rice, as it is traditionally served, or experiment with a piece of toast or as sandwich spread…delicious!

Prep Time: 2-3 hours for soaking tamarind
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: Makes a big batch that can be used over time


Dry Tamarind – 9 oz (250 gm)
Water – 4 cups + 2 cups (divided)
Ginger – 5 oz, finely minced
Green Chilies – to taste, finely minced
Oil – 2 Tbsp
Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
Jaggery – 5 oz, or to taste
Salt – to taste

For the Seasoning:

Oil – 2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Dry Red Chilies – 2 to 3
Curry Leaves – 1 to 2 sprigs


1. In a saucepan, add Tamarind (broken into small portions) and 4 cups water.
2. Bring to a boil, turn off stove, cover and allow the tamarind to soak for approx 2-3 hrs.
3. With your hands, squeeze the tamarind to release the pulp from the fiber and seeds (takes some effort).
4. Using a colander, strain the tamarind pulp from the fibers. Add additional 2 cups of water to the fibers slowly to release any remaining tamarind juices.
5. In a large pan, heat 2 Tbsp of Oil.
6. Add Asafoetida, Turmeric Powder and Curry Leaves.
7. Immediately add minced Ginger and Green Chilies. Saute until color changes to a light golden brown.
8. Add Tamarind pulp and Salt. Mix and cook until the raw smell of tamarind goes away and mixture thickens (approx 20 to 25 minutes on a medium high).
9. Add Jaggery and allow it to melt (approx 5 minutes).
10. In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of Oil.
11. Add Mustard Seeds and allow them to pop.
12. Add Dry Red Chilies and Curry Leaves. Mix quickly and pour seasoning over prepared Puli Inji. Mix through.
13. Serve in small quantities with Rice.

Note: This recipe makes a big batch which can be stored in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for months.

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0 thoughts on “Puli Inji (Tamarind Ginger Pickle)

  1. This is an amazing chutney!!! I made it yesterday, and its already our favorite.. My husband wants this to be a permanent feature with most of our meals! Thanks for the wonderful recipes… 🙂

  2. hi hetal nd anuja…ua recipes r reely awsummm… hav tried many f dem.. specialy ua chickn nd cake recipes… reely easy 2 make..ol ma famly memberz lovvvd dem…thnx!!

  3. Your recipes are great.This one was really easy pissy.!!!!
    I am 16 yrs old & keep surprising my Mom as I copy your recipes & she doesn’t know !!

  4. Thank you for this lovely recipe, I havenot seen curry leaves used in tarmind chutney, like they say there is always room for something new.I certainly will try this & store as well.
    I do appreciate what all you do. Good luck. Kolkata Girl !!!

  5. Oh man! This is bloody good! I just tried it! Used fresh Imli though (peeled it and used 180g instead of 140g of the dried) and it worked beautifully. I actually hate ginger but this is absolutely amazing!
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  6. hi hetal and anuja,
    Wanted to know from you guys if u had Undhiyo in your list?Hetal being Gujju am sure would be an expert at that.Looking forward for the video from you, would want to learn to make it

  7. Hi!!!!i saw your puli inji recipe and tried it at home it came out superb!!!!!i had earlier seen other videos of puli inji which seemed so mundane,daunting and putting off!but my hubby seemed to love puli inji so much, and when i saw u guys making it , it seemed so easy!hubby went wild over it that evening and loved it for dinner!thank u guys so much,u guys rock!

  8. Hi Anuja and Hetal: You both use any special brand of jaggery for this recipe or any of them is ok. Small jagery cones available in Mexican grocery stores are they ok. Please respond thanks.

    1. Hi Suleman,

      We usually buy our jaggery from our local Indian store. There is no one brand that we always buy. We have not tried the one from a Mexican store but if it is jaggery, it should work.

  9. hi hetal and anuja
    tried this recipe this afternoon. it was a great hit with my family . i guess this batch will be over in no time,thanks so much for a great recipe. one small question ? how much salt did u put in this recipe ,i saw u start with a spoon of salt ,how many spoons of salt when u were done ? pl post cos it will be easy for people like me for easy reference

    1. Hi Roshni,

      Honestly, we don’t remember how much we added in but salt is ALWAYS to taste (unless for baking). The best approach is to add the 1 tsp in and then taste along the way. The sourness of the tamarind and how much jaggery you add will affect the amount of salt you need.

  10. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Iam a big fan of ur recipes and ur collection of gadgets and dishes are too good.

    Can i know which brand of food processor u r using and also the green nonstick vessel is of which brand?

    Hope u will answer my questions

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Ramya,

      The food processor is a Ninja. Unfortunately, we don’t have the brand name of the green pan but we bought it at TJMaxx.

  11. Hi Hetal/Anuja,

    I always follow ur recipes and I m a big fan of u both.Can u also post recipe of south Indian tomato pickle.I once had it at my friend’s place,still cant forget the taste.Pls share it soon.


  12. hi, just wanted to share for those who dont want to add in oil..Just coo the tamarind, ginger, green chillies, and salt till thick, then the jaggery and at the end once the the heat is turned off add a lil fenugreek powder, rice powder and if needed some hing aswell..!!



    1. Hi Deepika,

      Tamarind pastes are usually concentrated so you will get more sour flavor using less paste. That being said, yes, you can use it but you will have to adjust the recipe accordingly. We do not have exact measurements for the paste. Sorry.

  13. Wow, you guys are uncovering new dishes from Kerala that even for some one like me from Tamilnadu and who has travelled to Kerala quite a bit.

    I have had a similar named dish as a side dish for pongal in a cousin’s house. It was done under one hour and for just one meal.

  14. Thanks so much…again looked like this one is for me!

    I had this pickle at a south Indian resturant just yesterday and was wondering how to make it. Thanks for sharing!

    I had this pickle with what they caled the “Aval Dosa”. It was made of Poha. Do you ladies ahve a recepie for that one?

    Best Regards,

  15. Will try over the weekend for sure. looks pretty cool…. it is hard to get the “puli” sound from the throat….thx for sharing…

  16. We make pulihora paste also similarly but few more ingredients go into it, minus ginger. I liked your recipe. Will give it a try.

    BTW, the food processor is soooo cute and looks very handy.

  17. Wouldn’t you say we should hold off on seasoning it curry leaves = moisture unless fried till crisp?) if we’re going to store it? Or it would still keep it long? Please calrify…Looks like spicy barbecue sauce… tempting:)

    1. Hi Angel,

      We have not had any issues with using curry leaves and storing it for a long time. Even if the leaves get crisp, there is other moisture present in the pickle.

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