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Sweet and Sour Tamarind Chutney

Before the month of Ramadan begins in our homes, this sweet and sour tamarind chutney is prepared in advance and bottled up for the month. We use it to serve with Samosas, Pakoras and Dahi Balle (Yogurt dish). And the fact that it is homemade, means I know exactly what went into this chutney. It is also called 'imli chutney'.

To be honest, a few years ago I started making my own chutney and didn’t realise how easy it was to make. Obviously from that day on, I make it all myself, a few days before the holy month begins. 

sweet and sour tamarind chutney imli chutney

Preparation Time 30 minutes 

Cook Time 30 minutes 

Cool Time 20 minutes 

Yields 500 ml 


250 grams dried tamarind 

1 1/2 cup hot water- divided 

1 small piece ginger- 1/2 inch 

1 cinnamon stick 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon cumin powder 

1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes 

3/4 cup sugar 


  1. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup hot water. Mix well and cover with a lid. Allow it to soften for 30 minutes. 

  2. Once the tamarind is soft mix it through then pass it through a sieve. Use the remaining 1 cup of hot water over the tamarind and squeeze it all with a spatula. Discard the seeds and pour the tamarind into a pan. 

  3. Add the ginger, cinnamon stick, salt, chilli flakes and the cumin. Mix well then add the sugar. 

  4. Cook it on a medium heat until thickened. 

  5. Pour it into a bowl and cool it to room temperature before filling sterilised jars an storing in the fridge. The chutney will thicken as it cools.  

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