Sweet and Spicy Tamarind Chutney

  • Serves

    makes About 1 1/2 Cups


(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.


  • 1 (2") ball tamarind pulp
  • 1 14 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and crushed to a powder
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 12 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. amchoor (mango powder) or 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tsp. ground ginger
  • 14 tsp. garam masala
  • Salt


Step 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.

Step 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.

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