Tamarind (Imli) Chutney/ Dip

Tamarind (imli) chutney

Now, the way it works with Indian snacks/street food is that you simply cannot eat them without the real chutneys/dips 🙂 One such chutney that really goes with almost all of the Indian street cuisine is real, tangy Tamarind chutney. It is a great accompaniment with fried snacks like samosa, kachori, pakode etc., and also with chaat items like dahi wada, papdi chaat, aloo tikki chaat and so on and so forth. In fact, in honesty, we Indians will not enjoy any of these without our indigenous Tamarind chutney.

This is a must item in my home. You will find Tamarind chutney in my freezer all through the year. I inadvertently have it with most of my snacks; I have even used this in some curry’s as well -hence this is one item that keeps getting prepared on a regular basis for replenishments. There are many versions of Tamarind chutney that are prepared in India – e.g., Tamarind-dates chutney, and Tamarind-saunth (dried ginger) chutney. My today’s post focusses on the most basic Tamarind chutney on its own.

Tamarind (“Imli” in Hindi) is a very beneficial tree. It produces edible, pod-like fruit which is used extensively around the world. Tamarind helps in curing few health diseases. Chutney made from tamarind leaves can help in better digestion. During constipation, tamarind juice is considered as best. Tamarind and mint juice along with salt, sugar and cumin seeds powder is the best drink to curb the ill effects of a scorchy summer. Tamarind is also used for washing away stains from metal. Eating raw Tamarind gives you the real/enjoyable sourness (“khattapan” in Hindi).

The ingredients for making Tamarind Chutney are :

  1. Tamarind : 1 cup
  2. Jaggery : 1/2 cup
  3. Sugar : 1/2 cup
  4. Black Salt : 3/4 tsp
  5. Salt : 1/2 tsp
  6. Garam Masala : 1 tsp
  7. Red Chilli Powder : 1/4 tsp

Method :

Soak tamarind in enough water overnight. Post that, mash the tamarind with your hands and squeeze the pulp to separate the stones and the skin. Strain it through a big colander/sieve and squeeze out every last bit of pulp. This will give you a thick and smooth pulp.

Heat a pan with this tamarind paste, sugar, jaggery and 1 cup of water; let it boil. After boiling, slow down the flame and stir occasionally till the solution becomes thick.

Now add salt, garam masala and cook for 2 minutes. Switch off the flame.

Your sweet, sour and tangy Tamarind chutney is ready to be explored !

Insider Tips / Finer Points :

  • You may adjust the sweetness according to the taste (quantity of sugar will depend on the sourness of the Tamarind).
  • You may add dates, raisins, cardamom in the chutney.
  • Feel free to use only jaggery/ only sugar/ both sugar and jaggery in any ratio.
  • You can store this chutney in the freezer (in an air tight container) for about 5-6 months.

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