Imli ki Chutney

Imli ki Chutney, also known as Tamarind Chutney or Meethi Chutney is a sweet and tangy sauce served with indian snacks like pakora and chaat. This North Indian style chutney is made with both dates and gud (jaggery) and seasoned with roasted spices.

WHAT IS IMLI

In Hindi, Tamarind = imli. Tamarind comes in many forms from seedless, to dried pulp blocks, to concentrates. In this recipe we are using Indian Tamarind which is sold as square blocks at Desi grocers. Thai tamarind is often sold in the same section and may be tempting to buy as it’s softer however its flavor profile does differ in that it’s sweeter and less tangy, throwing off the balance of spices and other ingredients in this recipe. If you cannot find a block of Indian Tamarind you can use the concentrate, just look for a concentrate thats ingredients are only tamarind pulp and no sugars or spices.

IMLI KI CHUTNEY

Imli ki chutney adds a tangy and sweet kick to Indian chaat recipes like makhana chaat, papdi chaat, aloo chaat, & more. It balances the richness of deep fried foods like pakoras along with its humble partner, hari chutney. And while picking up a jar of pre made chutney at the South Asian grocer is convenient, there is something so flavorful and nostalgic about a bottle of homemade Imli ki chutney.

SWEET & TANGY

To sweeten this chutney we use a combination of pitted dates and gud, also known as jaggery. I like to use the cubed jaggery, you can use the large block and chop it yourself or the powdered version. There is no refined sugar used in this recipe.

THICK OR THIN

The consistency of this chutney depends on your personal preference. I like my chutney to have some body to it, I genuinely dislike when I go to a restaurant and they give me chutney that resembles a simple syrup! If you prefer a more thicker chutney, you can either reduce the amount of water or you can cook down the chutney for a longer time. This chutney is thin enough to drizzle over chaats but thick enough where it won’t pool in your plate if you use it as a dip!

STORING THE CHUTNEY

This chutney keeps well in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 weeks. Use a clean, dry spoon every time when taking out the chutney, just as you would your favorite pickles and achaar to extends its longevity. If frozen in an airtight container it can last 6-8 months, easy.


Imli ki Chutney
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Imli ki Chutney, also known as Tamarind Chutney or Meethi Chutney is a sweet and tangy sauce served with indian snacks like pakora and chaat. This North Indian style chutney is made with both dates and gud (jaggery) and seasoned with roasted spices.
Author:
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 3 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup tamarind block; imli(about 3.5 oz / 100 grams)
  • 1 packed cup seedless dates; khajoor (about 100 grams)
  • 1 cup chopped gud / jaggery (about 100 grams)
  • 5 cup water; hot
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds; saunf
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds; jeera
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon kala namak; black salt
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder; sonth
Method
TO PREP
  1. In a large bowl soak your block of Imli with 3 cups of hot water for at least 15-20 minutes.
  2. Once the water in the tamarind bowl has cooled and the tamarind has loosened up, use your hands or a spoon to break up the tamarind pulp and press it down to release its pulp. Using a strainer, strain the water mixture into a large pot or saucepan and leave behind the seeds and fibrous material in the strainer. If you feel your Imli still has a significant amount of pulp left you can repeat this step with an additional cup of hot water.
  3. Dry roast the fennel and cumin seeds for ¾ minutes until they become toasty and cool before grinding into a powder.
  4. Chop the dates into small prices, it helps soften them up faster.
TO MAKE
  1. In the saucepan with the tamarind pulp add chopped dates, gud / jaggery, and the remaining 2 cups of water. Heat this mixture on medium heat for about 15 minutes until the gud / jaggery melts and the dates soften.
  2. Add the roasted + ground fennel and cumin powder, kala namak, dry ginger powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and salt. Mix well and turn off heat.
  3. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender once cooled) blend the chutney until smooth.
  4. Run the chutney through a strainer to catch and bits and pieces of leftover date or tamarind pieces. At this point you can adjust for seasonings and if needed loosen up the chutney with more water if needed.
  5. Cool completely before storing in a clean, dry, airtight container.
  6. Refrigerate for up to 4-6 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.
Notes
If using store bought tamarind concentrate instead of soaking tamarind use 2.5 cups.

Enjoy,

Nisha

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