Monday, July 23, 2007

Tamarind (Imli) Chutney

This sweet and sour chutney made with tamarind, dates and jaggery is a staple in many indian houses. Sweet and tangy at the same time, it is mainly flavored using Tamarind, or "Imli" as it is called in India. Though you can buy it at an indian food store, making this at a home is simple and easy, and homemade chutney tastes much better than the store-bought ones! Its a universal sauce that can be used to spruce up almost all chaat recipes, and as a dipping sauce with any fried finger food like pakoras and vadas. The addition of jaggery makes the chutney sweeter, but you may lessen the quantity to suit your taste, or even substitute it with sugar if jaggery is not available.

2 cups dates (khajur) - deseeded
1/4 cup tamarind (imli) - deseeded
1 cup jaggery - crushed
1 tspn chilli powder
a pinch asafoetida (hing)
salt to taste
4 cups of water

Wash the dates and tamarind and place them in a saucepan.

Add the jaggery, chilli powder, asafoetida, salt and 4 cups of water and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and strain the mixture through a sieve.

Now blend this in a mixer to form a smooth paste; add more water if you need a thinner consistency. Check for taste, then store in an air-tight bottle.

This Tamarind-Date Chutney can be stored in a refrigerator for at least 6 months. Serve this with Paneer & Potato Cutlets or Lilva Kachoris

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