Any chaat is incomplete without tamarind (imli) chutney. It adds life to any chaat and its sweet and tangy taste balances the spicy chaat.
I prefer making tamarind chutney with jaggery (gud) instead of sugar. Although, use of sugar makes it light colored and looks more appealing. However, when it comes to food, I am someone who prefers health over looks. So, when it comes to sugar vs jaggery, I always choose the latter wherever possible. After all gud is many times healthier than sugar.
I was (I still am) so fond of this chutney in my childhood days that it’s mere aroma would bring water in my mouth. I used to wait for my mother to get ready with her imli ki chutney, so that I could pounce on it. 🙂
It’s my all-time favorite. For me, tomato sauce comes nowhere near tamarind chutney. I can have it with anything. I mean anything, even with khichadi!
I make tamarind chutney in two ways: one is cooked version and the other is instant non-cook version. List of ingredients is almost same in both the versions.
- Tamarind (imli): 1 cup
- Jaggery (gur): 1 1/2 cup
- Chili powder: 1 tsp
- Roasted and powdered cumin seeds (jeera): 1 tsp
- Asafoetida (hing): ¼ tsp
- Black salt: ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Water: 2 cups
Process – 1 (cooked version)
- It’s a simple process and you can prepare and keep this version of chutney in refrigerator for months.
- Wash and soak the tamarind in 1 cup water for 2 hour. Remove the seeds and blend in mixer and strain the pulp through a sieve.
- In a heavy bottom vessel add water, pieces of jaggery, tamarind pulp other ingredients and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Let it cool and store in air tight container. Keep it refrigerated and it will last for months.
Process – 2 (non-cook version)
When there is instant plan to have chaat or Paani-puri in family and I’m running out of tamarind chutney, this version comes handy. This instant chutney does not have glossy shine and thick texture like the cooked one but it tastes equally good. The process to make instant tamarind chutney is even simpler.
- Take the soaked de-seeded tamarind and mix grated jaggery in a blender.
- Strain it, add salt, dry spices except asafoetida, and use it. This chutney will last for a week in refrigerator.
When you need small amount of chutney this non-cook version is more suitable. When in mood to make and use for longer duration go for the first option.
Tamarind chutney blends well with tikkis and kebabs too. Like here I have served Moong dal tikki (split yellow gram) with green coriander chutney and tamarind chutney.
Add it to any chat to make it tasty and use it as often as you want. The sweet and tangy taste will make you lick your finger as it still makes me do the same.