Thursday, August 02, 2007

sweet and sour

tamarind chutney has always been one of my favourites in the vast world of chutneys. so, without further ado, here are two more recipes/versions for this popular condiment. another was posted here a while back.

here is the post on how to make the paste for the first recipe.

tamarind chutney I (uncooked v.)

this tamarind chutney version is different from the standard thin one in a few ways: because of its ingredients and cooking method, it has a chunky texture and is not as sweet as, for example, the one below. it also tastes a little different. so, if you've only ever had the "restaurant" version of this popular chutney, don't expect the same exact thing from this one! for that, you may want to try the next one ..... (recipe from art of indian vegetarian cooking).


1/4 c tamarind pulp (60 mL)
1 1/2 c boiling hot water

3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp (or more) red chili powder

1/4 c chopped soft dates
3 tbsp shredded coconut
2 tbsp peanuts

several tbsp sugar, to taste
2 tbsp chopped coriander, optional


make tamarind paste according to procedure here and then place it in a bowl. set it aside and continue with recipe.

measure out the salt, red chili powder and cumin but dry roast the cumin for a few minutes beforehand.

cut up the dates into small 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.

mince the ginger finely and measure out the shredded coconut.

roast the peanuts and then chop them coarsely.

add all the ingredients into the tamarind paste and mix. add sugar to taste. i usually about 4 tbsp or maybe a little more. do it tablespoon by tablespoon as you can't undo it once it's added.

refrigerate the chutney for several hours or overnight. it has to have its rest period for the flavours to mix.

tamarind chutney II (cooked v.)

this is a quick version which is cooked entirely in the microwave. it uses tamarind concentrate, a cooked down sticky, almost molasses-like paste of the sour brown fruit & the unorthodox north american ingredient — applesauce.


100 mL [snack sized container] applesauce, unsweetened
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c water
2 rounded tsp tamarind concentrate (not pulp)
1/2 c sugar, either white or brown (packed)
4 dates, preferably soft kind or 1/4 c golden raisins

1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp black salt*(kala namak), heaped
1/4 tsp red chili powder, heaped

1/2 tsp amchur (sour mango powder), or to taste
1/2 tsp coarsely ground roasted cumin seeds

recipe notes before starting:

*omitting black salt won't kill the recipe but it will make it less flavourful and authentic. it has a sulfurous smell so is only used in small quantities so don't use more than called for here. it could be considered an acquired taste to those who have never had it before.

*yes, i know ..... applesauce?!? hardly an authentic ingredient but it does work — so, before you complain protest, try it and see ;p the only caveat is that until it is blended in the final stage [not an option in this recipe if you want successful chutney], it is somewhat gritty in texture.

*adding amchur [dried green mango powder] & coarsely ground roasted cumin at the end adds a lot more flavour. if you can't get amchur powder, add 2 to 3 tsp of lemon juice.


place applesauce in microwavable bowl. make sure the bowl is fairly large as the chutney will cook in the microwave and needs space to "expand".

break up the dates and place them on top of the applesauce.

add the sugar and spices on top also.

add the water but do not mix. if you want a thicker sauce, use the 1 1/4 c amount.

place this in the microwave for 1 minute at highest heat/max power. remove from microwave and stir.

replace bowl and microwave the mixture for 1 1/2 minutes this time. it should be hotter so make sure you are using oven mitts or tea towels to handle the bowl.

stir well for 1 minute and replace the bowl to the microwave and cook for 2 minutes this time.

after two minutes, remove the bowl again and stir very well.

place back in microwave and cook for 3 minutes this time but stop the microwave every minute or so or it may boil over and make a big mess. at this stage, you cannot leave it unattended.

remove the bowl again and place it on the counter. stir for a minute or two mashing up the dates.

let cool until lukewarm. place in either a blender or food processor and blend it for about 1 1/2. this will thicken the chutney further and break down any fibers from the dates. it will also remove the "grittiness" of the applesauce.

place in a bowl and then add the amchur. if not using amchur, you can add a bit of lemon juice. add the final roasted cumin seeds and mix everything.

let cool completely and refrigerate. the chutney will be better the next day.



Pallika said...

Hi, I've been following your blog for a while and I absolutely enjoy it. Where do you get hold of these authentic Indian recipes? Here's another version of this chutney that I learnt from a couple of Gujarati Women living in the US for years. It works especially well when using this chutney in chaats. This recipe uses apple butter instead of apple sauce and doesn't use tamarind or dates at all. Just mix apple butter with lime juice, salt, suger, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, a little bit of coriander powder. That's it. It's done. (I sometimes add a little ready made tamarind paste, if I feel too guilty to call it tamarind chutney). It's the easiest one I've seen so far and really does work.

burekaboy — said...

hi pallika - welcome and thanks for your comment :) as for the indian recipes, they come from all over the place — friends, books, ideas from other blogs, slight variations i've come up with, etc. i can't stand that generic north american garbage; there is soooo much to choose from apart from all that "fake yellow curried-everything".

thanks for this other no-cook chutney. i will definitely give it a try. it sounds very good actually. i can see how you could feel 'guilty' about calling it tamarind chutney with no tamarind in it! LOL. i'll let you know how it turns out.

hope to "see you" again :) thanks for your very nice compliment and the recipe! glad you're enjoying my blog.

Vidya said...

Two very interesting versions, but the truth is I probably will not make them any time soon. Sorry, it has nothing to do with the recipes, your photos actually make them look mouth-watering. But knowing my palate, I don't go for anything with sugar and salt. That is one reason I don't like Gujarathi cuisine.

burekaboy — said...

vidya - LOL, that's fine ... however just to let you know, the first version originally had NO sugar in it and 1 tsp of salt; i added the sugar to the recipe.

i found the recipe very strange without it -- probably because i am too used to the very sweet one and have a preference for all things sugary. the only sweetness one came from the chopped dates. it did have a nice texture and the added bonus of not having to be cooked. you'd probably like that version minus the added sugar.

anyway, thanks for commenting ;)

Nafeesah said...

Hi BB, I made this chutney two days ago to go with some currypuffs that I had made to break my fast with and it was just beautiful. Oh I made the top one btw. I had just came back from a visit to another state (kelantan) and I had some wonderfully fresh tamarind with me, and instead of regular sugar I used the palm sugar which is widely used here for making sweets and such.Oh yes and I used fresh hot chillies so it was nice and spicy. It was soooooooo good and now I have a whole bottle of it in the fridge because now I have it everytime I have a meal! Glad I finally got around to making this, because I've had my eye on it for a year...literally :p :p

burekaboy — said...

nafeesah! - good to hear from you; hope you're well & enjoying being back home again :))

thanks for letting me know how the chutney turned out and that you liked it. it must have been really good with your curry puffs! did you make your own or buy them? probably easier just to buy them there. i haven't made them yet but they're on my list of "to do's" -- the shapes remind me of our burekas.

thanks for the comment and hope to 'see' you again. be well! ;)