Ginger-Tamarind Chutney (Inji Puli)

Makesabout 1 cup
  • Active time: 20 min
    Total time: 20 min
This tart and spicy condiment is always served with a Sadhya feast. It is especially nice mixed with plain rice and yogurt as a palate cleanser. This recipe is part of our menu for Sadhya, a South Indian feast.
Published in Gourmet Live 01.18.12


  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup minced peeled ginger (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh green chile, such as serrano, Thai, or jalapeño, including seeds
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate (preferably Tamicon brand)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 10 to 12 fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch ground asafetida
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons grated jaggery (unrefined brown sugar) or turbinado sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw)


  • Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat (coconut oil has a very low smoking point, so be careful not to let it get too hot). Add ginger and chile and cook, stirring, until ginger begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Dissolve tamarind concentrate in 1/2 cup hot water.
  • Heat remaining tablespoon coconut oil in a small heavy skillet over medium heat, then cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop and/or turn gray. Add red pepper flakes and curry leaves (if using), covering skillet immediately, and stir until curry leaves are crisp.
  • Add spice mixture to ginger mixture along with cayenne, asafetida, and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add tamarind liquid and jaggery and simmer, stirring, until mixture becomes somewhat thick and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • Indian ingredients can be mail-ordered from
  • Chutney keeps, chilled, 2 weeks. Rewarm before serving.
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