Tamarind Chutney (Imlee Kee Chutney)

Suvir Saran

Adapted from American Masala: 125 New Classics From My Home Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, 2007)

“Tamarind makes a sweet-and-sour chutney with the consistency of a hot fudge sauce. It’s an important element in the street and snack foods of northern India. I also serve it with many snacks and appetizers such as puff pastry samosas with green peas, and papadum.” –Suvir Saran


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate


Combine the oil and spices in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the water, sugar, and tamarind concentrate. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer until it turns chocolaty brown and is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 20 to 30 minutes. (While still warm, it will look like a thin chocolate sauce and it will thicken a bit as it cools.) Store in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container for up to 2 weeks.


1 1/4 cups