Tamarind Chutney
Indian Recipe

Tamarind chutney is one of the fundamentals of Indian cuisine. Dried tamarind pulp is easy to work with, and readily available at Indian grocery stores or online retailers like Namaste.com.


Directions   Print recipe     Email to a friend

1 7-ounce block dried tamarind
4 cups hot water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 2-inch piece ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 whole Bay leaves
1 2-inch cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 1/2 cups sugar sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 Serrano or Thai chilies, minced

1. Break the dried tamarind block into several pieces, place in a spacious bowl, cover with the hot water, and let soak for 4-6 hours, until softened.

2. Work the softened tamarind with your hands to break it up as much as possible.

3. Strain the mixture into a spacious bowl. Use a spoon to press as much tamarind as possible through the strainer. Discard any pulp that remains.

4. Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat and cook until sizzling. Add the ginger and cook for one minute.

5. Add the cumin seeds, chili powder, Bay leaves, and cinnamon stick and cook for several minutes, until the “raw” scent dissipates.

6. Pour the tamarind liquid into the pan, add the sugar, salt, pepper, and chili and mix well.

7. Bring to a lively simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until slightly thickened —approximately 10 minutes.

8.Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

9. Pour into a clean jar and cover with a tight-fitting lid. You may store the chutney for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Preparation Time: 
40-45 minutes plus 4-7 hours downtime.
Tips and Techniques