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Imli ki Chutney [Indian Tamarind Sauce]

Some facts about Tamarind:
  • Tamarind is native to Sudan and was introduced to India centuries ago.
  • It is known to have some antiseptic, mild laxative and digestive properties [even for elephants :))]
  • It is an excellent polish for copper and brass items.


Imli [Tamarind Paste] - 1/4 cup
*Jaggery[gur] - 1/4 cup [depends how sweet you want]
Water - 1.5 cup
Red Chillie powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Black salt - to taste

Roasted cumin seed powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/tsp

Method 1:

  1. Dissolve imli paste in water and keep it aside
  2. Heat oil and when it is hot enough add cumin seeds and let it splutter
  3. Very carefully pour the imli-water mixture in the hot oil [Caution: keep your face away from the pan to prevent from getting burn. Water added to hot oil leads to spluttering]
  4. Bring the mix to rolling boil
  5. Add jaggery, spices and salt
  6. Boil for some good 10 minutes (in the event water starts to evaporate, add more water to keep the desired consistency) [A good boil helps to increase the shelf-life of the product]
  7. Adjust seasoning according to your taste
  8. Turn off the heat and let it completely cool to room temperature
  9. Transfer to a glass bottle and refrigerate [it keeps good for 3 wks] [glass bottle is a better choice as its least affected by the acid of tamarind]
  10. Its a great chutney for alloo chaat, samosa chaat, dahi vada and bhelpuri
Method 2 (updated Oct 04/2011)
  1. This method does not need oil and cumin seeds.
  2. Dissolve imli paste in water, add sugar or jaggery, salt, and rest of the seasoning and boil till it reaches the desired consistency. 
  3. I normally make it like this. Its easy and quick
  4. Resins/ dates (Khajoor) can also be added along with other ingredients. However, an additional step of blending will be required to get smooth chutney
*You can use table sugar instead of jaggery!
The measurements are just guidelines here, adjust sugar and spices to your taste


Sweta said…
Can't imagine chaat without tamarind chutney!! I also add a couple of dates to the tamarind chutney-increases the nutritional value :)
Pooja said…
Lovely chutney Renu..
Divya Vikram said…
Great info abt tamarind. Nice tangy chutney!
Renu said…
@ Sweta....I have dates with me, never thot of adding to Imli chutney..thx for the tip, will try next time
Renu said…
Thx Pooja and Divya...
kittymatti said…
Very nice recipe, mom makes it for all kinds of chats :)
anudivya said…
Always wondered how they made this chutney... I love it so much!
Smitha said…
Hey renu.
I love the pic. It looks like black coffee. I make imli chutney but i use date syrup instead of jaggery.
Sanghi said…
Countless delightful recipies.. Yummy renu.. first time here and you have a great place here..! Do check mine..!:)
Prathibha said…
lovely chutney,No imli chutney means no chaat..I also add dried dates to it apart form the other ingredients.
its so easy ...thanks
Varunavi said…
Good info abt tamarind.
Simple chutney can't go without this in chats....
Parita said…
Yummy imli chutney...i usually add few dates to my imli a nice flavor :)
Pooja said…
Yummy n rich chutney! Great with chaats :)
Superchef said…
a very basic recipe that everyone needs to know..thanks for putting it up :)
Tangy and hot mmm love them... I just love to delve into the chutney with puffed rice...
Nice chutney recipe. Good info on tamarind.
Renu said…
thank you all for your comments...lot of you have suggested using dates....will give it a try next time...
Mangala Bhat said…
wow! u have a nice space ...lovely blog ..
thanks for the comment @my blog
ARUNA said…
hey Nice info Renu.....and imli ki chutney is looking yummmmm.....i can feel the sourness already!
Lavanya said…
haha ..good for humans n eliphants too ..funny :)
chutney looks good renu !!
Nice site here... First time here - like it...
Vrinda said…
My first visit here Renu,u hav a graet blog..Lovely tangy chutney would be great with hot samosa..yumm
Pooja said…
Great use of sharing knowledge...yummy recepies..)

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