June 23, 2021

Donna George on her Mum’s special Onam recipe

Another lovely story from an interesting mum – Donna George who is from Kerala, currently lives in Bangalore with her husband and little daughter.

Post marriage she says, she realized her true passion lied in cooking and hence began blogging and discussing food at every given opportunity. Her major inspiration to start off the blog was her husband who she considers a better food critic than herself!

Donna started her food blog ‘The Culinary Trail’ five years ago, purely as a fun project to keep herself busy and never expected anything to come of it.

But the project has given back Donna much more and her passion has led her to turn into a professional freelance recipe developer and food content developer.

Talking about Onam that has a special place in her heart as a festival, Donna  says, “‘Onam’ for me is a festival that evokes wonderful memories. Growing up in Kerala, Onam was always a very grand affair. Late-nights preparing intricately designed pookalams, the sumptuous freshly prepared traditional Onasadya [special meal served on banana leaf], thiruvathirakali [traditional dance performed on Onam] etc are some of the special memories I have of Onam, from my childhood. Onam for me has opened up a treasure chest of memories, it was special because everyone got together and celebrated the festival with much gusto.

Today though I miss being in Kerala, being a part of all the festivities and an elaborate Onasadya, it still makes me happy that Onam is celebrated in the best possible way we can, wherever we are. My friend and I are planning a traditional Onam feast for all our non-malayalee friends and we are super thrilled about it!

I love a delicious and hearty Onasadya. And though we never used to make a full fledged sadya at home, my mum always had a bottle of freshly prepared Inji Curry stocked up in her pantry. Inji curry is an inevitable part of the Kerala sadya and is made from ginger, green chilies, tamarind and jaggery which lends it a hot, sour and sweet taste. I have heard that it is included in a sadya in order to help aid digestion of the heavy feast.

For me, the Inji Curry was what lifted up the sadya to a whole new level! And my mum’s Inji Curry is the best I have ever tasted.

Sharing My Mum’s Super Awesome Inji Curry recipe gives me immense pleasure and I am sure you all will love it too.

Inji Curry 1

Recipe For Inji Curry

 Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 15 minutes

Serves : 4


200 grams Ginger, finely chopped [you could give it a pulse in the chopper to make it very fine]

1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds

1 Green chili

10 Shallots/ small onions/ sambar onions/ pearl onions, finely chopped [optional; we like the flavor of onion. I think that’s what makes my mum’s recipe so special]

1 sprig Curry leaves

2 tablespoons Kashmiri chili powder

1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon Fenugreek powder

2 Lemon sized balls of tamarind, soaked in little water

2 to 2.5 tablespoons powdered jaggery [I always add more, adjust as per taste]

Salt, to taste

Oil [coconut oil enhances flavor, but refined oil should work just fine]

Steps Of Preparation

Heat oil in a wok and add chopped ginger to it. Fry till ginger turns a light brown and moisture has reduced. Do not make it golden brown.

Remove the fried ginger with a slotted spoon. Keep aside.

Squeeze out the tamarind extract from the soaked tamarind and keep aside. Strain to remove any sediments.

In the remaining oil [if there is no oil, add more] add the mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter.

Once the mustard splutters, add curry leaves and green chili and saute for a few seconds. Now add the finely chopped shallots/ small onions into it and saute till the onions turn a light brown.

Once the onions have browned, add the chili and turmeric powders and saute for a few seconds till raw smell disappears. Now switch off flame, and add the fenugreek powder and mix well. [switching off the flame while adding the fenugreek powder helps to avoid the fenugreek powder from getting burnt]

Switch the flame back on and add a little water [little at a time] and saute the ginger mixture. Keep adding water little by little to make a thick paste. Cook this mixture till oil separates. [This step is important because it enhances the overall flavor of the dish.]

Now add the tamarind extract, enough salt and fried ginger and mix well. Allow this to come to a boil.

Add the powdered jaggery and mix well and cook till the mixture thickens a little. Do a taste test at this time to adjust salt and add more jaggery if needed.

Once done, cool completely and add into an airtight container or glass bottle. Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Link Source : http://www.theculinarytrail.com/my-mums-super-awesome-inji-curry-recipe

We thank Donna for sharing her happiness in remembering wonderful memories and her mum’s recipe for the festival.

Happy Onam everyone!

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