Sweet and Spicy Tamarind Chutney

by0| PUBLISHED Dec 15, 2005 10:00 AM
Sweet and Spicy Tamarind Chutney
Saveur. Saveur

(Imli Chatni)

This chutney, made from a recipe in Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking (William Morrow, 1985), is a popular dipping sauce for fried foods in northern India.

Yield: makes About 1 1/2 Cups


  • 1 (2") ball tamarind pulp
  • 1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and crushed to a powder
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. amchoor (mango powder) or 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. ground ginger
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> tsp. garam masala
  • Salt


  1. Put tamarind into a medium bowl, add 1 1⁄4 cups boiling water, and let soak for 30 minutes. Use your fingers to help dissolve softened pulp. Strain liquid through a sieve into a small bowl, pressing on remaining pulp. Set tamarind liquid aside and scrape remaining pulp back into medium bowl. Add 1⁄4 cup boiling water to pulp, let soak 5 minutes, then use your fingers to help dissolve pulp again. Strain liquid into bowl of tamarind liquid, pressing on remaining pulp. Continue soaking and straining process until tamarind liquid yields 1 1⁄2 cups. Discard remaining solids.
  2. Add cumin, sugar, paprika, cayenne, mango, powder, ginger, garam masala, and salt to taste to tamarind liquid and stir until sugar dissolves. Chutney will keep refrigerated for 3 days and frozen for up to 6 months.