Tamarind Chutney, aka Imli Ki Chatni, is one of the most exquisite Indian sauces we’ve ever tasted. It’s hot, sweet, sour and curry-spiced all at the same time.
It makes a super samosa sauce for our Sunrise Vegetable Curry Samosas, goes with roasted vegetables, makes a lovely dip for chocolate or our Rose-Infused Coconut Ladoos (aka Coconut Bliss Balls), and as a world-fusion wonder, it makes an amazing plant-based dessert when served with chocolate or drizzled over vegan coffee ice cream (our favorite!).
Tamarind is the bean pod from a tall tropical tree. The beans are encased in a thick sour paste and this is the tamarind paste we use in our cooking. It’s quite tart, but unlike lemon or lime juice. We do not have an Indian grocery near us so we order our Tamarind Paste from Pure Indian Foods.
We use whole spices of cumin and fennel seed in our recipe, but if you prefer a smooth sauce you can use ground spices. Better yet, grind yours fresh prior to adding to the sauce.
You might question the addition of cumin into sweet chutney, but it’s surprisingly fabulous!
Our Tamarind Chutney recipe calls for Garam Masala which is a northern Indian spice blend. You can order organic Garam Masala from Pure Indian Foods, or better yet, order the whole spices and make it yourself! Here’s a link to our recipe: Garam Masala Recipe.
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We included a number of ingredient variations in this recipe. The whole spices, fennel, and cumin soften during cooking and are easily chewed while eating the Tamarind Chutney. If you use powdered spices, your sauce will be smooth. We like the texture.
When we try a new recipe, we follow the directions the first time, evaluate it, and make notes about how we’ll change it next time. We suggest you do the same with this recipe. Try it with the whole spices this time and be sure to try it out in a coffee ice cream sundae! Tamarind Chutney may become your new favorite plant-based dessert!
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Stacy and Markus live an adventurous vegan lifestyle and write articles about their experiences cooking global vegan cuisine, creating businesses, raising vegan kids, and traveling through more than 65 countries. They earned degrees in molecular biology and acupuncture, consulted over decades for healthcare companies and individuals, created businesses in Asian medicine, eco-tourism, cultural immersion, and taught yoga in myriad venues.
We’ve learned a lot from eating a plant-based diet for 25 years and are eager to share more with you. Learn more on our About Us page.
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Percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet for an adult.
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