Sweet Tamarind Chutney for Indian Street Foods

Sweet Tamarind Chutney

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Street foods in India often have hot, tangy, and sweet flavors which we commonly refer to as chatpata flavor. This unique taste comes from the various chutneys such as spicy green chutney, red chili-garlic chutney, and sweet tamarind chutney used both as a dressing as well as a drizzle on top of the dish. Today we will look at one of these integral chutney recipes, which as the name suggests is made of tamarind and jaggery and popularly known as sweet chutney (meetha in Hindi).

What is Sweet Tamarind Chutney

Sweet tamarind chutney is a sauce that adds sweetness to salads, sandwiches, wraps, and other Indian street foods. It complements the other flavors of the dish. Just a little bit added to the recipe is enough to bring out the character of the dish. 

Sweet Tamarind Chutney

What you will need to make Sweet Tamarind Chutney

Sweet chutney is made essentially with two key ingredients – tamarind and jaggery. However, with Middle Eastern influence on Indian cooking, dates were replaced for a portion of jaggery.   

Ingredients

Note: 1 cup = 235 ml

  1. 3 ¼ cups water
  2. ½ cup tamarind 
  3. ¾ cup dates, de-seeded
  4. 5 cups jaggery
  5. 1 Tbsp. cumin powder 
  6. 1 Tbsp. Kashmiri red chilli powder
  7. ½ tsp. dry ginger powder
  8. 1 tsp. black salt
  9. A pinch of black pepper powder
  10. Salt to taste (I use ½ tsp. table salt)
Ingredients for making Sweet Tamarind Chutney

Equipment

  1. 1 small blender
  2. 1 deep sauté pan
  3. 1 scoop ladle
  4. 1 mason jar with lid 

A note on key ingredients

Tamarind is a tangy fruit pulp that is widely used across Indian cuisines. It has a sour taste which contributes to the base tanginess of sweet chutney. You can use either store-bought paste or raw tamarind.

Jaggery, the unrefined form of cane sugar, adds both sweetness and rich color to this chutney. You can replace it with brown sugar or dates.

Dates add texture and sweetness to this chutney. You can also replace jaggery with dates if you want to improve the fiber quotient. However, if you want the real street food experience, follow this recipe to a T 


How to prepare Sweet Tamarind Chutney – An Overview

Bring all ingredients to a boil and simply simmer until it’s reduced to three fourths and cool it off

Tips before you begin

📝 Using a wide and heavy bottom pan reduces cooking time instead of using a saucepan or stockpot

📝Add spices only after clearing out the dusty froth that comes from boiling jaggery


How to make Sweet Tamarind Chutney – Instructions with step-by-step images

Step 1 – De-seed ¾ cup dates (if they aren’t seedless) and soak in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Then add the dates to a small blender jar. Add some water and grind to a smooth paste

Note: If you are pressed for time, you can skip this 30 minute wait time and simply pop the soaked dates and tamarind in the microwave for 2 minutes

Step 2 – In parallel, soak ½ cup tamarind in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Once it’s soft, crush with hands, extract tamarind water, discard the pulp, and set the tamarind water extract aside

Step 3 – Set a wide and heavy bottom pan on high heat, add tamarind extract (from Step 2), date paste (from Step 1), 5 cups jaggery, and use the rest of the water to rinse the blender jar and add it to the pan

Step 3 – Mix it well and bring it to a boil. You’ll notice dusty froth form on the top. Use a ladle to remove most of the froth and discard it

Step 4 – Now add the following spices to the froth-free jaggery mixture – 1 Tbsp. Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 Tbsp. cumin powder, ½ tsp. dry ginger powder, 1 tsp. black salt, a pinch of black pepper powder, and salt to taste (I use ½ tsp. table salt)

Step 5 – Mix well and let it simmer for 20 minutes. You’ll notice that the liquid has reduced to three-fourths its original quantity. Turn off the heat and filter into a bowl with a colander. Discard any dust or pulp

Step 6 – When the sweet tamarind chutney cools down completely, transfer it to a mason jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month

Sweet Tamarind Chutney

Step 7 – Enjoy your sublime sweet tamarind chutney in your salads and in Indian chaat recipes


How I learnt about this sweet chutney recipe 

Sweet tamarind chutney is one of the first recipes that I learned by looking up recipe books when Google search wasn’t that popular. As a teen with a constant craving for street food and with not much pocket money, I decided to make the recipe at home, and luckily I found a pocketbook by Mallika Badrinath on how to make 100 snacks. I learned quite a few amazing recipes from that book. Later, when I got married into a hardcore Mumbai foodie family and made my version of Bhel Puri, the feedback I received was that I was close, but not there yet; which is amazing for starters I thought. However, my quest started to level up my standards to match the street food magic.

When I became a parent and got into the habit of serving healthy foods, I made my own version of Date Chutney, with very little jaggery. This was to make my elementary-age kids consume more fiber. If you are interested in that recipe, drop me a note and I will be happy to post it here.

Coming back to this recipe, I got tips from a dear friend Ramandeep Kaur. During one of our morning coffee meets, she asked me for the healthy date chutney recipe and I learned her version of the recipe. When I made it with the measurements reversed (all thanks to Raman), my husband told me I had nailed the recipe. Yes, approved 100% to Mumbai-street food standards!

Now that my kids eat dates on a regular basis without making a fuss, we are back to enjoying sublime chaat just like in the streets of amchi Mumbai!

Related Recipes

Spicy Green Chutney

Red Chili-Garlic Chutney

Bhel Puri – Steet Style


Sweet Tamarind Chutney

Recipe by Sublime RecipesCourse: Chutney, Dips, & SaucesCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

500

ml
Prep Time

30

minutes
Cook Time

30

minutes
Ready In

1

hour 

Sweet tamarind chutney is a sauce that adds sweetness to salads, sandwiches, wraps, and other Indian street foods.

What You Will Need

  • Ingredients
  • Note: 1 cup = 235 ml
  • 3 ¼ cups water

  • ½ cup tamarind

  • ¾ cup dates, de-seeded

  • 5 cups jaggery

  • 1 Tbsp. cumin powder 

  • 1 Tbsp. Kashmiri red chilli powder

  • ½ tsp. dry ginger powder

  • 1 tsp. black salt

  • A pinch of black pepper powder

  • Salt to taste (I use ½ tsp. table salt)

  • Equipment
  • 1 small blender

  • 1 deep sauté pan

  • 1 scoop ladle

  • 1 mason jar with lid 

Preparation

  • De-seed ¾ cup dates (if they aren’t seedless) and soak in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Then add the dates to a small blender jar. Add some water and grind to a smooth paste
  • In parallel, soak ½ cup tamarind in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Once it’s soft, crush with hands, extract tamarind water, discard the pulp, and set the tamarind water extract aside
  • Mix it well and bring it to a boil. You’ll notice dusty froth form on the top. Use a ladle to remove most of the froth and discard it
  • Now add the following spices to the froth-free jaggery mixture – 1 Tbsp. Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 Tbsp. cumin powder, ½ tsp. dry ginger powder, 1 tsp. black salt, a pinch of black pepper powder, and salt to taste (I use ½ tsp. table salt)
  • Mix well and let it simmer for 20 minutes. You’ll notice that the liquid has reduced to three-fourths its original quantity. Turn off the heat and filter into a bowl with a colander. Discard any dust or pulp
  • When the sweet tamarind chutney cools down completely, transfer it to a mason jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month
  • Enjoy your sublime sweet tamarind chutney in your salads and in Indian chaat recipes

Tips / Variations

  • You can replace jaggery with dates or brown sugar, however, this chutney tastes the best when made with jaggery.

Nutrition Facts

16 servings per container


Calories42

  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Sodium 6mg 1%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
    • Dietary Fiber -1g -4%
    • Sugars 9g
  • Protein 1g 2%
  • Calcium 1%
  • Iron 1%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

❔Can this recipe be made ahead of time

Absolutely, I make a batch once every month, refrigirate it and use it as needed. Also, as it is a time-consuming process, it’s convenient to make it ahead of time

❔What are some of the recipes that I use this sweet tamarind chutney in

You can use it like ketchup or dressing. As it is a sweet condiment, it is versatile and can be used in many recipes like sandwiches, wraps, salads, and of course is most Indian street foods.

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