Think sour and Tamarind is the first thing that appears in an Indian Cook’s mind. And probably that is why a wide variety of Tamarind chutney find their way onto an Indian “Thali”, irrespective of which part of the country that Thali belongs to. Every “Bhoj” in Bihar to every “Sadya” in Kerala, Tamarind chutney is a must. And that is how I have learnt to make at least 3-4 different types of Imli Chutney. You will find one of them in this post.
I still remember those days, when we as kids would wander to that tamarind tree in our backyard and pluck raw tamarind. When you dip it into liquid salt and bite into it, you would experience a feeling that was beyond explanation. There was a strange feeling after each bite as if you are not able to control your saliva and it is oozing out uncontrollably, though that was just a feeling. I still remember that strange sound we would make with our tongue after each bite.. Memories galore!
As I was writing this post, I went through a few nostalgic moments that I wish I could experience once again. Times have changed and you wouldn’t find a lot of tamarind trees these days in my village. People have sold their farms after the real estate boom, to build apartments. Farms are a skeleton of what they used to be. In my hometown, where rainy seasons are often accompanied with floods, if it rains and otherwise if it doesn’t, then there is extreme drought, farmers find survival extremely challenging. So they are happy with selling their farms off. They cannot be blamed, isn’t it?
Coming back to the recipe today, I am sure you will like this Sweet and Sour Tamarind Sauce Recipe (Tamarind Chutney). Everyone in my family fell for it and they would just keep eating it every now and then. But it goes really well with all kind of Parathas and Rotis.
- Tamarind - 100 gm
- Five spices/Panch Phoron - 1/4 tsp
- Whole Red Chilli - 2
- Bay leaf - 1
- Asaafoetida/hing - a pinch
- Red chilli powder - as per the taste optional
- Raisin - 1 tbsp
- Cashew Nuts - 1 tbsp
- Dried Dates - 1 tbsp soaked and chopped
- Mustard Oil - 1/2 tbsp
- Sugar - 200 gm
- Salt- 1/4 tsp
- Soak the tamarind (without seeds) in two cups of warm water for half an hour.
- Extract pulp and strain to remove fiber.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan.
- Add Five spices/Panch Phoron, bay leaf, whole red chilli and hing.
- When the seeds starts spluttering add the tamarind pulp,sugar, salt, cashew, raisin and dried dated.
- Cook on low heat.
- Cook till the chutney acquires a glazed look and starts thickening.
- Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Store the chutney in an air-tight container.
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