Spiced Tamarind Chutney Recipe

Spiced Tamarind Chutney Recipe

A wide, shallow cream-colored ceramic bowl with brown speckles of glaze on it, holding chunky tamarind chutney and a metal spoon. The bowl is placed on a copper tray and in the top left corner of the image is another similar bowl holding a different sauce.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

It’s rare to find mint chutney without its partner in crime, sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney. Store-bought and restaurant versions are often sickly-sweet, loaded with corn syrup and sugar. Instead, my homemade chutney recipe gets its body and mellow sweetness from chewy dates and earthy palm sugar.

Tamarind can be found in many forms, from jarred concentrates to dried whole pods. Here, I’ve used seedless tamarind paste, which gives all the flavor of the fresh pods without any of the fuss. A quick steep in hot water softens the dates and tamarind and melts the palm sugar, readying it all to be blended into a smooth chutney.

In a small saucepan, combine dates, tamarind paste, ginger powder, chile powder, sugar, and 3/4 cup (175ml) water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes to soften the tamarind paste and dates. 

A four-image collage. The top left image shows the tamarind paste being transferred from a small white ramekin into a stainless steel pot. The top right image shows the sugar being transferred into the pot. The bottom left image shows the spices being transferred into the pot. The bottom right image shows the ingredients fully incorporated in the pot and coming to a boil.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Using a blender, purée until smooth (if chutney is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time to reach desired consistency), then pass through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any fibrous bits. Store in an airtight container.

A two-image collage. The top image shows the cooked tamarind chutney being poured from a stainless steel pot into a blender. The bottom image shows the interior of the blender bowl holding the thick, blended chutney.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik


Kashmiri red chile powder is mild and fruity. If you cannot find it and wish to substitute cayenne pepper, be sure to cut the amount used in the recipe by half.

Special Equipment

Fine mesh strainer

Make-Ahead and Storage

The chutney will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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