Ginger Curry or Inji Curry in Malayalam is perhaps the tastiest of all curries in Kerala cuisine. According to legends, a good ginger curry is equivalent to 1000 curries. Vararuchi was a brahmin in ancient Kerala. He used to travel to distant places and during his trips he used to have food from the Brahmin families he visited in those places. One day he visited a house and was attracted to the daughter of the family. He however wanted to test her before he proposed his interest to marry her. So he asks her to prepare him food with 1000 curries.
The girl’s mother was baffled because she thought it was impossible to prepare 1000 curries in such a short time. However, the clever girl asked her not to worry and prepared Inji Curry. Vararuchi was very impressed with the meal that consisted of rice and just Ginger Curry. Since then Ginger Curry is said to be equivalent to 1000 curries.
If you are interested in preparing this legendary dish as it is prepared in my native Quilon (Kollam) district, then here is how you can do it.
- 100 gm of ginger (peeled and cut in small, thin pieces)
- 15 large shallots (peeled and cut in small, thin pieces)
- 6 green chillies (cut in small pieces)
- Tamarind of the size of a small Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
- 6 garlics (peeled and cut in small pieces)
- 15 curry leaves
- Asafoetida (1 cm diameter piece)
- Pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- Put the tamarind in water and stir until it becomes a juice.
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan and deep fry the ginger pieces until golden brown and set aside.
- Repeat the procedure with the shallots.
- Repeat the procedure with the 15 curry leaves and 6 garlics.
- Once all the fried items have cooled down, you have to mix them and grind them into a paste by adding a little water.
- Filter the oil that you have used for frying and use it again to fry a small piece of asafoetida. Once fried, you have to powder it.
- Heat the mustard in the same oil after you have taken out the asafoetida.
- Once the mustard starts popping reduce the flame and add 2 spoons of coriander powder and 1 spoon of red chilli powder to it. Immediately after that add the paste that you had prepared before. Make sure that there is no more than 2 seconds delay since the chilli powder may get burned out.
- Once you have stirred it well, add the tamarind juice along with salt and two pinches of fenugreek.
- Add powdered asafoetida and pepper to this.
This is the Kollam style ginger curry. Try it out and let me know how it tastes. This can be a side dish for both rice as well as drinks.
Lazzy Cook (http://lazzycook.blogspot.in)