Sweet Tamarind Chutney/Imli Chutney


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

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Sweet Tamarind Chutney/Imli Chutney

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Sweet tamarind chutney or imli chutney is the sweet and sour spiced sauce accompanying all chaat-style foods in India. I LOVE it because it encompasses all my favorite flavors into one, and I could go through a jar in an entire setting. I’ve previously shared recipes for tamarind chutneys in both Season and The Flavor Equation cookbooks. Here’s another version that leans more classic yet faster to prepare. Please read the Note section below before proceeding with this recipe, especially if you use my Chaat Masala blend from Oaktown Spice Shop.

  • Yield: Makes a little under 1 cup/240 ml


1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 cup/120 ml water

1/4 cup/60 ml tamarind paste concentrate

1/2 cup/60 ml date syrup or mild-flavored molasses

1 1/2 tsp chaat masala, homemade or store-bought

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

ground kala namak or Indian black salt


  1. Heat a small, dry stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Toast the cumin, coriander, and fennel until they turn fragrant and golden brown, about 45 seconds. Remove and transfer to a blender or mortar and pestle, and grind to a fine powder. 
  2. In a small saucepan, add the water, tamarind, and molasses. Stir over medium heat until combined. 
  3. Add the chaat masala, ground ginger, Kashmiri chilli powder, and ground spices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon and leave a trail when a finger is run through. 
  4. This chutney can be stored for up to a month in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 


  • If you’re using my Chaat Masala blend from Oaktown Spice Shop, you can skip adding Kashmiri chilli powder. Taste and add it at the end if you want more heat. 

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