Pulikyatchal (A Spicy Green Chilli-Ginger-Tamarind Chutney)
The name "pulikyatchal" comes from two words, "puli" meaning tamarind and "katchal" from "katcharadhu" meaning to cook. So as you would have figured out, this chutney is basically made by cooking finely chopped ginger and green chillies in tamarind pulp till it is quite thick in consistency.
This chutney is another one of those preparations which is daily fare yet our festive meals are incomplete without it.
You will, once again, find numerous variations of this recipe depending on who is making it. There are versions which include shallots/ onions and others which do not use ginger (or green chillies)
Make your adjustments such that your chutney is quite spicy (and salty) with a very strong sour note and the jaggery should just add a hint of sweetness while balancing out the spice and the tang.
- Soak the tamarind in about 3 cups warm water for about half an hour. Using your fingers, rub the tamarind well in the water and then squeeze out as much pulp as possible. Throw away whatever residue is left of the tamarind and keep the tamarind pulp aside.
- In a deep pan (or wok), heat the sesame seed oil. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the lentils and sauté till they're golden in colour. Turn down the heat to medium and add the asafetida powder and the curry leaves. Stir a couple of times and add the chopped ginger, green chillies and turmeric powder.
- Sauté for about 5 minutes till the ginger turns soft. Add the tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat a bit further, and simmer till the mixture thickens to the consistency of a chutney and you can see a bit of oil on the surface.
- Take off the heat, cool and bottle. This recipe makes a small jar of chutney and will keep for over a month.
- Serve with rice and plain yogurt or dosas.
Thanks for all those comments. Let me further clear up the confusion.
It is correct, as pointed out in the comments section, that "puliyodharai" (a kind of tamarind rice) does not have ginger in it, and this is not the tamarind chutney that is used to make it.
I just wanted to say that one could make a tamarind rice of sorts by mixing this chutney with rice.