Proper date and tamarind chutney

Proper date and tamarind chutney

By
From
I Love India
Makes
180ml
Photographer
Martin Poole

This is like Indian ketchup… but is not reserved for children. It is sweet and tangy but has a fair amount of spice from the black pepper. We eat it on a lot of our chaats, as a dipping sauce for samosas and dhoklas, and I use it in sweet, sticky marinades as well. It takes a little while to make but lasts for weeks in the fridge and longer in the freezer.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
75g dried tamarind
100g dates
125g sugar, or to taste
1/2-3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 1/2-2 teaspoons roast and ground cumin seeds, or to taste

Method

  1. Place the tamarind and dates in a saucepan. Cover with water and a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 20–30 minutes or until it is pulpy and mashed. Pour into a large sieve over a large bowl and force through as much as you can, then, when cold enough to handle, collect the pulp in the sieve and squeeze it – still over the bowl – to remove all the bits. Discard the fibres and stones.
  2. Pour the tamarind and date liquid back into the pan with the remaining ingredients and cook for 1 hour or so. It will cook down, become glossy and syrupy. Taste and adjust the sugar, seasoning and spice. Pour into sterilized jars and, once cool, place in the fridge. Or leave to cool, then divide into portions and freeze.

To sterilize jars

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C. Place just-cleaned jars on a foil-lined shelf in the middle of the oven and leave for 20 minutes or until completely dry. Remove with oven gloves and fill the hot jars with hot chutney, or leave both to cool before filling. (The important thing is that they should be at the same temperature.)

Roast and ground cumin seeds

  • Place the cumin seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat and stir just until they turn a shade darker and smell aromatic. Remove and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
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