Puliyinji – The Tangy Delight of Kerala Sadhyas
Kerala, aptly named ‘God’s Own Country,’ is not just known for its lush green landscapes and backwaters but also for its rich culinary heritage. The heart of Kerala’s food culture lies in its elaborate feasts, locally known as ‘Sadhya.’ And at the heart of every Sadhya, whether it’s Onam, a wedding feast, or any grand celebration, is the iconic Puliyinji pickle.
Puliyinji is a traditional recipe passed down through generations. It carries the essence of Kerala's culinary traditions, reminding people of their roots and connecting them to their ancestors.
In a Sadhya, where a multitude of flavours dance on your taste buds, Puliyinji plays a crucial role in balancing the meal. Its tangy and slightly sweet taste cuts through the richness of other dishes, offering a refreshing contrast.
Kerala cuisine is known for its indulgent, coconut-laden dishes. Puliyinji acts as a digestive aid, helping the body process the hearty Sadhya more efficiently.
Ginger Goodness: Fresh ginger is peeled and finely chopped or julienned. This imparts a zesty, earthy flavour to the pickle.
Tamarind Tang: Tamarind pulp, the sour heart of the pickle, is extracted. It's a laborious process, but the reward is a burst of tanginess.
The Sweet Touch: Jaggery or unrefined sugar adds sweetness. The amount is carefully balanced to achieve the perfect sweet-sour equilibrium.
The Spice Symphony: Green chilies bring the heat, while a mix of spices like mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves elevate the flavour profile
Slow Cooked Magic: The ingredients are cooked together over low flame, allowing them to meld into a harmonious medley. The slow-cooking process intensifies the flavours.
Puliyinji in Festive Feasts
Onam, Kerala's most celebrated festival, is synonymous with grand Sadhyas. Puliyinji is a star player on the Onam Sadhya platter. Its vibrant colours and bold flavours make it an irresistible choice.
In Kerala, weddings are a grand affair with extravagant feasts. Puliyinji graces the tables as a symbol of joy and abundance. It's believed to bring good luck to the newlyweds.
While Puliyinji shines during festivals, it's not limited to special occasions. Many Keralites enjoy it as a regular accompaniment with rice.