HomeRecipesCondimentsTamarind Chutney

Tamarind Chutney

This is sweet-and-sour sauce, Indian style. It’s particularly good with samosas and pakoras, and is also a fabulous chicken wing glaze. Quick and easy, it keeps well in the fridge so it’s worth keeping around. Also, feel free to mess with the spicing by adding more of anything you like. Red cardamom is hard to come by, so swap in green or black. And be sure to add both the fresh and dry ginger. It’s this layering that really deepens the flavor.


  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 3/4 cups jaggery or palm sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt or Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger


1Put everything in a small saucepan and boil furiously for a while.

2You’ll need to cook it down to get the right consistency. If you’re using it as a dipping sauce you’ll want it a little thinner. If you’re pouring on top of a plate of samosas, or coating wings, you’ll want it closer to the viscosity of syrup. The danger zones are at the beginning and end of the process. At the beginning it’s likely to froth up, and possibly spill over onto your stovetop. (Particularly if you assemble this on the fly and add the salt as the mixture is already boiling.) If you’re not paying attention during the end game, it can zoom past caramelization and leave a nasty crust in your pan. You’ll know you’re approaching this latter point when the bubbles start to get larger. Turn down the heat and dip a spoon and watch the sheeting action as your chutney drips down the spoon. If you missed the precise consistency, you can always add back a little water. And remember that viscosity will also vary by temperature—it thickens as it cools.

3VARIATIONS: You can tinker with this endlessly. Want it even more gingery, with some punch? Add half a teaspoon of Grains of Paradise. Want still more punch? Add half a teaspoon of Indian long pepper. And so on….


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