Tamarind (Imli) Chutney

Tamarind Chutney is one of the all time favorites amongst Chutneys. You can serve it with appetizers, make chaat with it or serve with Dahi Bhallas. We always make a large quantity and freeze it so it is readily available at all times.


Tamarind Concentrate – 2 tbsp
Water – 2 cups
Jaggery – 1/2 cup, powdered and packed
Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp or to taste
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds ( Sauf) – 1 tsp, optional


1. Heat 1 cup of water in the microwave, add in the Tamarind paste and mix well so that there are no lumps.
2. In a saucepan on medium to high heat, pour in the diluted Tamarind mixture and the balance of the water. Allow it to come to a boil.
3. Add in the powdered Jaggery and reduce flame to Medium.
4. Let the Jaggery melt and the mixture reduce to half. Keep stirring occasionally.
5. While the above mixture is boiling, dry roast the Cumin and Fennel seeds and allow them to cool before you grind them to a powder.
6. Mix in Salt, Fennel and Cumin Powders and Red Chili Powder. Stir and then remove from Flame.
7. To get the correct consistency of the hot chutney, lift the stirring spoon out of the pan and make sure it lightly coats the spoon. Once the
chutney cools, it will automatically thicken.
8. Allow it to cool and store in a clean dry container.
9. Makes about ½ cup of Chutney.


1. Tamarind Chutney has a long shelf life and should be kept refrigerated. It also freezes very well.
2. You can also substitute Jaggery with about ½ cup of Brown Sugar or Regular Sugar.
3. If you do not have Fennel Seeds, use only Roasted Cumin Powder.
4. You can use 3 lime size balls of regular tamarind if you do not have the concentrate. Soak it in the 1 cup hot water and remove all the fiber and
seeds from it.

Watch and learn:

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0 thoughts on “Tamarind (Imli) Chutney

  1. Any tips on adapting this recipe to use your homemade tamarind paste? I stop where y’all do in the video. I don’t cook it down to concentrated consistency. It’s much easier to work with in paste form.

    Also, measuring by volume the amount of jaggery will vary depending on how fine it’s powdered and how firmly it’s packed. Could y’all give the amount of jaggery to use by weight? The only jaggery I can find locally comes in either large blocks or small lumps. I’m not too great at grating it, so I wouldn’t trust my skills at powdering it.

  2. Hiii hw do i download your i phone app can u plz tell me the leyword or give the link ??? Your recipes are awesome luv them n ur demonstration too 🙂 thanku

  3. Dear Hetal / Anuja ,

    I love your recipes. I have a Quick recipe for the Imli Chutney. Hope you can include with your lovely voice and youtube presentation.

    Apple Butter – 1 bottle
    Cumin Powder – as needed
    Red Chilli – as needed
    and Salt. Mix it and Dilute as needed.

    1. Hi Muna,

      Thanks for sharing your recipe. My mom used to do this like 30 years back when Indian grocery stores were not so common here in the US. Thanks for bringing back the memories :).

  4. Dear Hetal / Anuja:
    I love cooking! I just stumbled on to your SMTC looking for a recipe to make Pani Puri for my new DIL. Then I spent more than half a day looking into the several recipes presented by you both. All your programs are awesomely beautiful to the least! The mode of presentation, language, diction, mannerism . . . great. I did also love to watch the inevitable bloopers! In making the uppuma, I have found from experience that if you roast the suji a tinge brown in the micro oven and pour it hot into the boiling water it never gets the lumps. Also it comes out fluffy. Adding a few tsp of raw oil after the cooking also enhances the taste.

  5. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
    Thanks for posting all the wonderful recipes here. I have tried a lot many dishes from here and they have just turned out awesome.
    I tried this tamarind chutney recipe yesterday and again it tasted wonderful. The only thing was it came out really thin in the consistency as compared to what the actual one is (or even what the picture shows here). What can i do to make it to the right consistency? I already tried boiling it for couple more minutes. Please help.

    And again thanks a lot for the wonderful demonstrations for your recipes.


    1. Hi Poonam,

      The more you cook it, the thicker it becomes (it usually takes longer than just a few extra minutes). Maybe next time, you can reduce the amount of water you put in initially.

  6. hi hetal and anuja…im a regular follower of your blog…thanks for such inspirational recipes…my only complain is tht i have written to you so many times but never really got any answer from you…nt sure why:( hope u reply to this one…can u please suggest how to make this chutney with dates?thanks in advance:)

    1. Hi Richa,

      Wow…we try to answer almost every one of our viewers questions (sometimes, the questions fall through the cracks because we get so many per day) so we can only say “sorry”.

      If you want to use dates, put them in a pot and add just enough water to cover them. Let them soak for a few hours. Take the same pot with the dates/water and cook until the dates are completely softened. You may need to add a little more water along the way. Then, use an immersion blender to grind the dates into a smooth paste. If you use a blender, you’ll have to wait until they cool down a bit. Now, return the paste to the stove and keep adding tamarind until you get the balanced sweet/sour taste you want. Also add in the spices/salt at this time. Cook until the raw smell of tamarind has gone.

      1. Hi Hetal,

        Please don’t apologize…i understand u must have missed my questions.no worries! Thanks a lot for replying.will try this for sure and your other recipes too…there’s so many recipes i want to try:):) keep up the great work:)

  7. I have seen some people even using a pinch of fenugreek seeds (only few seeds, as they are pretty biter).
    Some people use dried dates soaked overnight in water and cut into long slices.
    Soaked Raisins are also used.
    Some people (usually street food vendors in India ) use dried ginger powder too ( called Sonth in hindi ).

    1. Hi Dr. Kumar,

      Yes, we sometimes use dates for our sweet chutney as well. It is a great sweetener option. We have not tried using raisins but it does sound interesting. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  8. This is a great recipe, I have made this many times. I also add apple butter and less jaggery. It turns out great. It give just the right sweetness. thank you again for all you great recipes.

  9. Hi,

    Can I use raw tamarind instead of tamarind paste ? If so, how much water do I need to add for a golf size ball of tamarind ?

        1. Hi Blaze,

          It depends on how you will be using the tamarind paste. Tamarind chutney is sweet and tangy. Tamarind paste is only tangy. If you recipe calls for some added sugar, you could possibly substitute the chutney.

    1. Tamarind is amazing, it has a very long shelf life. It can last in the fridge for 1 -2 months (make sure you use a clean spoon everytime).
      The only way to tell if it has gone bad is if it has fungus growing on it.

  10. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
    Do you know the shortcut recipe to make this chutney using apple sauce? I had tasted it a while ago,but I’m not sure of the proportions
    Please let me know if you get hold of that recipe.

    1. Hi Sharkuntala,

      Years ago, my mom used to make sweet chutney with Apple Butter, not apple sauce. The color of apple butter is dark brown and resembles tamarind. If I remember correctly, she only added roasted cumin powder, red chili powder and salt. The apple butter provided the sweetness as well as the tartness.

  11. I love all ur recipes, and of course this one too. but i have a question.
    in the ingridients u say, 2 cups water. and u dissolve the paste in 1 cup water.

  12. Hi Madhuri,

    You can stop the cooking process at any point you see fit, depending on the consistency you need. Just remember, the cooled product will be much thicker than what it seems like on the stove. If you already have the chutney made and it’s too thick, then you can dilute it a bit with some warm water. The intensity and flavor may go down a bit.

  13. Hello Hetalji, Anujaji,
    I have another question
    For Panipuri, Bhelpuri this consistency is a little thick
    Do you suggest i diliute this when using for the above
    Please suggest
    Thanks in advance

  14. Hi Madhuri,

    Cooking the tamarind reduces the raw smell and flavor that some people find offensive. Tamarind can be eaten raw so it is not absolutely necessary to cook it.

  15. Hello Anujaji, Hetalji
    I have a question. Why do we need to cook the tamarind. some other websites just soak tamarind and strain. What is the difference betwenn cooked tamarind and using it raw
    Please suggest and thanks in advance

  16. Sorry about the typo — it is 1/2 cup of jaggery. The sweetness is really to taste so if 1/2 cup is not enough for you, you can add as much as you need.

  17. This chutney is really wonderful..But pls.give the correct ingredients.. pls. may I know whether it is 3/4 cup or 1/2 cup jaggery…Anyway your recipes are really cool..

  18. Tried this recipe..it turned out great.
    and being slightly on the tangy side..u dont have to pour lots over the dish..so its good for many Chaat sessions..

  19. Hi Jaya,
    Water amount depends on how much Tamarind are you using. If you use a golf ball amount of tamarind (with seeds), we would use 2 cups (16ozs) of water. The tamarind tastes vary by brands, so keep a close eye and you may need to adjust the jaggery, salt and the spices as well.

  20. Hi,

    If I am using the regular tamarind what is the amt of water to be used apart from the 1 cup used in soaking the tamarind? Also what is thh shelf life of the chutney.


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