Inji Oorugai| Oil Free Instant Ginger Pickle

The markets in Bangalore are flooded with baby ginger these days. You know, those very tender knobs of ginger that are almost white, with a pinkish tinge to them? The sort of ginger that doesn’t even need peeling – you can scrape off the little skin on it using just your fingers. Cutting them up is a delight – with none of the tough fibre that mature ginger possesses, your knife glides straight through it, making slicing and fine-chopping oh-so-easy. That’s the sort of ginger that’s just perfect for the purpose of pickling, I say.

Today, I share with you the recipe for Inji Oorugai, a simple instant pickle I make using this baby ginger. This is a no-fuss pickle that needs the bare minimum of ingredients, time and effort to make. It’s a no-oil version too. And yet, it’s an absolute delight to eat, converting a bowl of curd rice into a blissful treat. It wouldn’t be wrong to call this a guilt-free pickle, one that all of us at home adore.

Like I was saying earlier, this Inji Oorugai is best made using tender ginger when in season. The lack of fibre in young ginger, as opposed to mature ginger, makes all the difference. The pickle can be eaten just as soon as it is made but, in my opinion, it tastes best after about two days of soaking. Stored in the refrigerator and used hygienically, it stays well for up to a month.

This Inji Oorugai is similar to the Sushi Ginger or pickled ginger that is served along with sushi in Japanese restaurants. However, Sushi Ginger uses vinegar and sugar as opposed to the lemon juice and jaggery powder used in this pickle. It’s a good digestive, this pickle, a good thing to resort to when your system feels overloaded and you are in need of a detox. It’s just the remedy for minor monsoon-related digestive ailments too.

Let’s now check out how to make this Instant Ginger Pickle. I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #289.

Ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup):

  1. About 150 grams tender ginger
  2. 1/2 tablespoon salt or to taste
  3. Juice of 2 lemons
  4. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste

Method:

1. Peel the ginger. Chop into thin slices. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Add in salt to taste, jaggery powder and lemon juice. Mix well.

3. Set aside, covered and undisturbed, for a day. Stir intermittently to ensure that all the pieces of ginger are evenly coated with the juice.

4. After a day, transfer the pickle to a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and store refrigerated. Shake before use.

Notes:

1. Use very fresh, tender ginger for best results. Mature ginger is not very well suited for making this pickle.

2. Adjust the quantity of salt, jaggery and lemon as per personal taste preferences.

3. You may skip the jaggery if you so prefer, but I wouldn’t personally recommend that. The jaggery adds a beautiful touch to the pickle, and helps a great deal in cutting down the spiciness of the ginger.

4. You can add green chillies to this Instant Ginger Pickle, too. I don’t use them, since the ginger is spicy already.

5. It takes 2-3 days for the lemon juice, salt and jaggery to soak through the ginger and cut down its spiciness. Then, this pickle becomes absolutely finger-lickingly delicious.

6. Store the pickle refrigerated, when not in use. Remove only using a clean, dry spoon.

7. This Instant Ginger Pickle can be served as a side with rotis, rice or thali meals. It can also be used in wraps, rolls, etc.

Do try out this Instant Ginger Pickle recipe this season, and let me know how you liked it!

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