Ginger root is not only used in preparing food but also as a medicine in natural medicines and Ayurved. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can be used on a daily basis either in the form of tea or as a spice in curries or in baked goodies.
In Kerala, we use ginger to prepare a pickle dish which is popularly known as Puli Inchi where Puli is tamarind and Inchi is ginger. This pickle can be stored for days without going bad and can also act as a digestive agent. So, it is an essential side dish of the Sadya (meal) of Kerala.
How to prepare Puli Inchi - ginger pickle
Ginger roots - cleaned and sliced thin- like really thin
Green chillies preferably Bird's eye chillies - as per hot 'taste or tolerance'
Salt - 2 spoons
Water - a cup
Tamarind paste - two tablespoons or lesser as per your preference
Curry leaves - a few
Sesame seeds, 1 tsp coconut oil and a red chilly for seasoning
Sesame seed powder - a teaspoon
Red chilly powder - a teaspoon
Jaggery or brown sugar - a teaspoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Heat a wok. Pour the coconut oil and add sesame seeds, curry leaves and red chilli. Let it splutter. Add the sliced ginger and saute. After it has browned a little bit, add the tamarind paste/pulp and the water too. Let it boil. Meanwhile, add a pinch of turmeric and salt. Now add sliced green chillies. Let the mixture thicken and then add red chilly powder and sesame seed powder which is optional in case you want to reduce the spice. When you feel that this mixture is thick enough, switch off the stove and add the powdered jaggery or brown sugar and if you do not have both, it is okay to add a spoon or two of white sugar. The sugar is added to balance the sour taste of the tamarind.
Transfer it to a bowl and you can have a spoon or two of this mix along with hot rice and papad. It might seem a little too spicy but it does wonders for the stomach and helps digest a meal.
It is said that in ancient days, people used to refer to this curry as the one which is equivalent to 108 curries most probably because of the great qualities of ginger.
Preparation time - twenty minutes
For people who are allergic to ginger and other spices mentioned above, please do not consume it.
written by same author on Hive blog