Tamarind Chutney (Imli Chutney)

4.80 from 15 votes

Tamarind Chutney (Imli Ki Chutney, Sonth) is a sweet and sour Indian sauce made with tamarind, jaggery, and spices. Serve this homemade condiment with chaat recipes or snacks like samosas, pakodas, dhokla, etc.

You may like more chutney recipes: Dahi Chutney, Rajasthani Garlic Chutney, Raw Mango Chutney, Tomato Chutney, and Green Chutney.

Tamarind chutney kept in a glass jar.
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About Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind Chutney (Imli Ki Chutney, Sonth) is an Indian sauce made using tamarind, jaggery, and spices.

It has a sweet, sour, spicy taste and a thick, smooth texture.

The sourness of the tamarind is perfectly balanced with the jaggery, and the spices give it a spicy kick.

These days, imli ki chutney is readily available in the market, but I prefer to make mine at home.

Store-bought chutney has a lot of sugar added, while when making it at home, you can choose to use jaggery and reduce the quantity.

Store-bought chutney is also loaded with colors, preservatives, and other chemicals, but no chemicals are added when made at home. Homemade chutney is also much more economical.

The best part is that you can prepare this chutney and store it in the fridge for 3-4 months, so it comes in handy whenever you want to add that spicy, tangy, sweet taste to your dishes.

This recipe is vegan and can easily be made gluten-free. I get approximately 2 cups of chutney using this recipe. You can easily double or triple the recipe to make it for a crowd.

Ingredients

Tamarind chutney ingredients 1
Tamarind chutney ingredients 2

All the ingredients to make sweet tamarind chutney are easily available at any Indian grocery store or Asian grocery store. You can also source them from online portals like Amazon.

Tamarind – Also known as Imli, this is the star ingredient of this tamarind chutney recipe.

Use seedless tamarind to make this recipe. It is easily available at any Indian grocery store.

You can also make the chutney using ready tamarind pulp. It will save you some time, too.

Jaggery (Gud) – Jaggery balances that tangy taste of the tamarind pretty well.

Some people use sugar instead of jaggery, but I prefer it because it is much healthier. It also gives the imli ki chutney an earthy taste. You can also replace jaggery with brown sugar or demerara sugar.

Make sure to buy organic jaggery that is dark in color. The light-colored jaggery has chemicals added to it to lighten its color.

You can crush the jaggery using something heavy (e.g., a rolling pin, or a meat tenderizer) or use powdered jaggery to save time.

Raisins (Kishmish) – Adding raisins is optional, but I like the flavor and bite they add to this chutney. You can choose to skip it.

Ginger – Fresh ginger adds the much-needed heat to this chutney. You can replace fresh ginger with ground ginger (dry ginger powder, saunth).

Other – You will also need Kashmiri red chili powder (or cayenne pepper), roasted cumin powder, coarse fennel seed powder (saunf powder), asafetida (hing), black salt (kala namak), and regular salt.

You can also add a few dates (khajoor) to the imli chutney recipe for natural sweetness. If doing so, reduce the amount of jaggery a bit. Many people add thinly sliced bananas and halved green grapes to the cooled chutney before serving it.

Skip asafetida for a gluten-free chutney.

Some people add melon seeds (kharbooje ke beej) along with raisins.

How To Make Tamarind Chutney

Soak 1 cup (150 g, 5.2 oz) of seedless tamarind in 2 cups of hot water for 20 minutes.

Tamarind soaked in water.

Mash it well using your hands.

Mashing the tamarind.
Mashed tamarind.

Keep a mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the tamarind concentrate.

Passing teh tamarind pulp through a mesh strainer.

Add 1 cup of hot water over the leftover pulp and strain it again. Keep pressing it with the back of a large spoon to get the maximum pulp.

More water added over the tamarind mixture.

Discard the leftover tamarind pulp.

Leftover pulp.
Strained tamarind mixture.

Transfer the tamarind water to a medium size pan. 

Tamarind mixture transferred to a pan.

Add the following ingredients to the pan and mix well.

  • 1 cup (250 g, 8.8 oz) of crushed jaggery
  • 2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse fennel powder
  • ½ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon black salt
  • ½ teaspoon regular salt
Remaining ingredients (except raisins) added to the pan.

Cook the mixture on medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.

Mixture cooking on medium heat.

Add ¼ cup of raisins and cook the chutney for another 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Raisins added to the pan.

If the chutney has thickened too much, add some water to it and bring it to a boil. I like mine to have a pouring consistency.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Remove the pan from the heat and bring the chutney to room temperature.

Transfer it to a glass container and store it in the refrigerator. Use as desired!

Ready tamarind chutney.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use tamarind paste instead of seedless tamarind to make imli chutney?

Yes, you can. Skip the step of soaking the tamarind and directly use 1 cup of ready-made tamarind paste to make the chutney. You will have to dilute the paste a little, though.

How to make tamarind chutney with dates?

To make tamarind sauce with dates (khajur imli ki chutney), chop 2 cups of seedless dates and soak them in 3 cups of water for 20 minutes.

Add the dates along with the water in which they were soaked and tamarind pulp to a pan.

Reduce the jaggery according to your taste and keep the remaining process as mentioned below. When the chutney is ready, cool it and blend it in a blender to make a smooth chutney.

You Might Also Like

Tamarind Chutney (Imli Ki Chutney, Sonth) is a sweet and sour Indian sauce made using tamarind, jaggery, and a few spices. Serve it with chaat recipes or snacks like samosa, pakoda, dhokla, etc.
4.80 from 15 votes

Sweet and Sour Tamarind Chutney Recipe (Imli Chutney)

Tamarind Chutney (Imli Ki Chutney, Sonth) is a sweet and sour Indian sauce made using tamarind, jaggery, and a few spices. Serve it with chaat recipes or snacks like samosa, pakoda, dhokla, etc.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Soaking Time: 20 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup seedless tamarind (imli) (150 g, 5.2 oz)
  • 3 cups hot water (divided)
  • 1 cup crushed jaggery (gud) (250 g, or jaggery powder, 8.8 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse fennel seeds powder (saunf powder)
  • ½ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (skip for gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon black salt (kala namak)
  • ½ teaspoon regular salt
  • ¼ cup raisins (kishmish)
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Instructions 

  • Soak tamarind in 2 cups of hot water for 20 minutes.
  • Mash it well using your hands.
  • Keep a mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the tamarind concentrate through it.
  • Add 1 cup of hot water over the leftover pulp and strain it again. Keep pressing it with the back of a large spoon to get the maximum pulp.
  • Discard the leftover tamarind pulp in the strainer.
  • Transfer the tamarind water to a medium size pan. 
  • Add jaggery, ginger, cumin powder, chili powder, fennel powder, asafoetida, black salt, and, regular salt to the pan and mix well.
  • Cook the mixture on medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add raisins and cook the chutney for another 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • If the chutney has thickened too much, add some water to it and bring it to a boil. I like mine to be of pouring consistency.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and bring down the chutney to room temperature.
  • Transfer it to a glass container and store it in the refrigerator. Use as desired!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

 I get approx 2 cups of chutney using this recipe. You can easily double or triple the recipe if you want to make it for a crowd.
Add some boiled water to the chutney if it has thickened after refrigerating.

Nutrition

Calories: 126kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 0.5g, Fat: 0.2g, Saturated Fat: 0.05g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 114mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 65IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    It’s a fantastic addition to any meal, and you won’t be disappointed with the burst of flavors it brings to your taste buds. Kudos to the author for sharing such a delightful recipe!

  2. Hi..my chutney has got thick in consistency.i have kept it in refrigerator.now can i add more water n make a smooth consistency.?