Classic Tamarind Chutney

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Classic Tamarind Chutney

Why purchase store-bought chutneys and sauces when it's so easy to make your own? As I enjoy Indian savories, that usually means that when I make them, I also make an accompaniment for them. Sweet tamarind chutney is one of my favorites and I've made several versions of it in the past. This one is smooth, tart and hot, and easy to make, and I made it to go along with baked samosas (that recipe is coming soon). All you need to do is soak the tamarind for a while and then gently simmer with a few other ingredients until it thickens up. It keeps well in the refrigerator for at least a week in a covered container.

Classic Tamarind ChutneyClassic Tamarind Chutney
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on September 10, 2015

Smooth, tart and spicy classic "restaurant-style" tamarind chutney — easy to make and great for samosas or any Indian appetizer

Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

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  • 1/2 cup tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Soak the tamarind pulp in 2 cups of hot water for 40 to 60 minutes. Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour in the tamarind and soaking water. Drain the water into the bowl, squeezing out as much of the pulp as possible, and discarding any seeds and fibrous bits. Reserve the pulp and water.

  • Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds darken a few shades. Add the ginger and chilies and cook, stirring often, for another minute or two. Toss in the cayenne, asafetida and garam masala, and stir for another minute.

  • Whisk in the tamarind pulp and water, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened — about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and blend in a small food processor or blender for a smoother consistency if desired.

  • Refrigerate for up to a week in a sealed container.

Makes 1 cup

Smooth Tamarind Chutney

Other chutneys and sauces to try from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Spicy Tomato Chutney
Green Mango Coconut Chutney
Roasted Toor Dal & Coconut Chutney
Hot Green Chili Sauce

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