Sweet tamarind chutney is a lip-smacking condiment that is an integral part of Indian street foods and chaat. Also called imli chutney, meethi chutney, or saunth ki chutney, it is made using tamarind and jaggery. Serve it with samosa, patties, chaat, or with your favorite finger foods. Vegan, gluten-free, and ready in 15 minutes.
Why you will love this recipe?
- This sweet tamarind chutney is a versatile condiment that can complement a wide range of Indian dishes, snacks, and street food, making it a must-have in any Indian kitchen.
- The imli chutney strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tangy flavors, making it a delightful and mouthwatering addition to various dishes.
- The recipe is easy to make, with simple ingredients and minimal cooking time required.
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.
Step 1: In a saucepan, combine tamarind paste, jaggery, and water. Bring to a boil (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Add the ground cumin, ground fennel, ginger powder, chili powder, black salt, and salt. Mix well (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Simmer for 15 minutes (image 5). The chutney becomes thick and reaches the desired consistency (images 6 and 7). The chutney is ready when it is thick and easily coats the back of a spoon (image 8).
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 like Amazon.
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.
Always use a clean and dry spoon when you are using it.
This tamarind chutney 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.
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Sweet Tamarind Chutney
- 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.