If you go to any Indian restaurant, you’ll notice they typically serve their appetizers with a Tamarind chutney & a Mint chutney. These chutneys are very commonly used in ‘Chaats’ (a term describing savory snacks, typically served at road-side stalls in India and some neighboring countries) and also for serving other appetizers like fried snacks, kebabs etc.
After tasting these chutneys at various restaurants, I finally came up with the tamarind chutney recipe which my taste buds love. And what do my taste buds love? While preparing the chutney I thought, just tamarind would only give one taste – sour, adding something sweet would give it a nice sweet and sour taste. But instead of sugar I used jaggery (date or palm sugar), as jaggery enhances the flavor while adding the sweetness. The next thought which came to my mind is…. I need to add some chili, as spicy is always my first preference with any food! 😀
So the combination of sweet, sour and spicy gave it a tangy flavor….just the one I’ve been craving for! When mixed with snacks, it excites all my set of taste buds making me want to indulge more and more! I’ve been preparing this chutney at home for the past one year or so and using it to spice up the snacks I get from the stores and also for the ones I prepare at home 🙂
Preparation Time: 25 minutes (excluding the time to soak the tamarind)
Tamarind – Around 100 g
Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder (Heeng) – 1 teaspoon
Jaggery (date or palm sugar) – 5 tablespoons
Dried red chili (ground) – 2 to 3 teaspoons
Fennel powder – 1 teaspoon
Chaat Masala – 3 to 4 teaspoons
Water – 2 cups
Step 1: Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of water for around 30 minutes. If you want the chutney to be very thick, use half or 1 cup of water instead of 2 cups (as desired).
Meanwhile, heat a non stick pan and dry roast the coriander powder, cumin powder, asafoetida powder, fennel powder, dried chili and chaat masala for around 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside.
Step 2: Add the soaked tamarind in water and transfer to a U-shaped vessel. Alternatively, you can first squeeze out the juice of the tamarind into the soaked water and add only the juiced water (discard the tamarind in this case) to the U-shaped vessel.
Heat it for around 2 to 3 minutes and add the jaggery. Stir until it is mixed well. You can add in additional jaggery as per your taste.
Step 3: Add the roasted spice mixture and mix well. Stir for another 1 or 2 minutes. Turn off the stove and let it cool completely. Strain through a fine sieve into a glass bottle. Be careful not to press too much while straining else the chutney might become too spicy. You can refrigerate and store the chutney for at least 1 month.
Enjoy it every now and then with your favorite snacks 🙂
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