Sweet tamarind chutney step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Tamarind chutney (famously known as imli ki chutney) is an integral part of Indian street food. This is also called sweet chutney and can be called one of India's favorite chutneys. This sweet tangy chutney is a perfect accompaniment for almost all chaats and fried snacks.
It stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to a month and can be frozen for up to 6 months. Serve this sweet and sour condiment with samosa, tandoori snacks, or your favorite finger foods. Also called meethi chutney or saunth ki chutney, the main ingredients used to make it are tamarind and jaggery.
Typically, tamarind is soaked and strained to extract the pulp, which is then simmered with jaggery and spices. Extracting the tamarind pulp could take at least 30-45 minutes. In this recipe, I am using tamarind paste and the chutney is ready in 15 minutes.
Read on for ingredients and instructions along with recipes in which you can use this chutney. Also, check out this recipe to make green chutney.
Ingredients and substitutes
Tamarind paste: I am using store-bought tamarind paste/concentrate. See the tips section on how to use fresh tamarind.
Jaggery: Jaggery is available in all Indian grocery stores. If you cannot find jaggery, substitute it with dark brown sugar or molasses.
Spices: I use ground cumin, ground fennel, dry ginger powder, black Indian salt, and chili powder (or cayenne). Adjust chili powder as per your preference.
In a saucepan, combine tamarind paste, jaggery, and water. Bring to a boil (steps 1,2).
Add the ground cumin, ground fennel, ginger powder, chili powder, black salt, and salt. Mix well (steps 3,4).
Simmer for 15 minutes or until the chutney becomes thick and reaches the desired consistency (steps 5,6,7).
The chutney is ready when it is thick and easily coats the back of a spoon (step 8).
Sweet chutney is ready to be stored.
Typically, fresh tamarind is used to make this chutney; however, I am using tamarind paste. It is very convenient to use and the chutney is ready in 15 minutes. Tamarind concentrate is available in Indian/Asian grocery stores, supermarkets, and online stores.
If you want to use fresh tamarind, soak it in boiling water for at least 30-45 minutes. Squeeze it well to extract as much pulp as you can. Pass it through a sieve and strain it to remove any seeds or fiber. Use the extracted tamarind pulp. For this recipe, you will need one cup of fresh tamarind soaked in 2 cups of water. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
Jaggery can be replaced by dark brown sugar or molasses. Start with the same amount as mentioned in this recipe and add more as needed once the chutney begins to thicken.
The chutney is ready once it begins to thicken and coats a spoon. Stop simmering at this stage as it will thicken further as it cools down.
Always use a clean and dry spoon when you are using it.
It stays fresh for up to one month in the refrigerator. Cool the chutney and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It is also freezer friendly and can be frozen for up to six months. To freeze it, cool the chutney and pour it into an ice tray. Freeze it for 4-5 hours, transfer the cubes to a zip-lock pouch, and store it.
How to use sweet chutney
Here are some recipes where you can use this chutney in making it or serving it as an accompaniment.
This sweet tamarind chutney:
- has a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors,
- can be used in all Indian chaats or street foods,
- can be used as a dip with finger foods,
- keeps fresh for up to one month in the fridge or 6 months when frozen
Sweet Tamarind Chutney
- ½ cup tamarind concentrate
- 1 cup jaggery
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon black salt
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cup water
- In a saucepan, combine tamarind paste, jaggery, and water. Bring to a boil.
- Add the ground cumin, ground fennel, ginger powder, chili powder, black salt, and salt.
- Mix well and simmer for 15 minutes until the chutney becomes thick. Simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.