Easy Indian Tamarind sauce to serve with Samosa, Onion Bhaji, and Pakora – just like the one from your favorite Indian restaurants. This delicious homemade tamarind dipping sauce is so easy to make, that you will never go back to buying store-bought sauce again!
TAMARIND CHUTNEY FROM SCRATCH
I have already shared recipes for Green Coriander Mint Chutney, creamy coriander sauce and Yogurt Mint Sauce in my earlier posts. Have you tried them? Other than these, one other dip, I absolutely love is this Tamarind Chutney. It’s so so good that I always have them stored in my refrigerator.
This is one of the most classic Tamarind Chutney, that is prepared from scratch with ease. It has got Tamarind, Jaggery ( No refined sugar), water and ground spice powders. Serve this Tamarind Dipping Sauce with your favorite appetizers like Onion Bhaji or Vegetable Pakora or even Samosa’s. It is also delicious to serve with Chaat recipes ( Indian street food ).
Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s sell East End Tamarind Sauce or Maggi Tamarina Sauce. Honestly, these sauces are good only for a quick fix, but no way near to the restaurant-like version or the tasty Indian street vendor version. Store-bought Tamarind Sauces also have preservatives and additives to keep them fresh for long. Plus they are far too tart in taste.
When you make it at home, This sauce can be prepped ahead, stores well in the fridge for up to 1 month, so it really works for festive occasions or even potluck parties too! I do not call this Sauce recipe quick, because it does take about, 30 minutes of soaking time and 10 minutes of cook time in total. But the recipe is certainly easy! Feel free to customise the flavours to your liking.
Like the sauce, a bit sweeter, add about 3/4 – 1 cup Jaggery. For a spicer Tamarind sauce, add a little more chilli powder. To make it healthier, add 1 cup of dates to the same recipe.
Why make this Indian Tamarind sauce at home?
- This Tamarind Chutney sauce is so easy to make that you will never ever buy it again from the store.
- Make it in bulk and store up to 6 months in the freezer or up to 1 month in the fridge.
- Prep it ahead of time and you have a supply of Tamarind Sauce all the time.
- Budget-friendly – So much cheaper and healthier than the store-bought sauce.
- You know what goes into this Tamarind Dipping Sauce and you can add more opt-ins to make it healthier.
- Use a dipping sauce or as a marinade for your recipes.
- Vegan Dipping Sauce recipe that uses no oil or butter!
Ingredients you will need for Tamarind sauce recipe
You will need the following for making homemade imli sauce.
Tamarind – Tamarind Slab easily available in most Superstores. Look for seedless tamarind if you get.
Jaggery can be bought from the Indian Grocery Store near you. Jaggery is unrefined cane sugar made from cane juice. This adds authentic taste to the Imli Sauce recipe. However, you can substitute with dark brown sugar if jaggery is not available.
Pitted Dates can be used in the recipe for a healthier Sweet Tamarind Chutney. It is completely optional. I do love to add dates, when I have them in my pantry.
Spice Powders – This recipe uses Ground Cumin, Ground Fennel, Red Chilli Powder, Chaat Masala, and Ground Ginger. Add Black Salt ( also known as Kala Namak or Himalayan pink salt ) for added flavors – Optional
Salt – A little bit of salt will balance out the flavors well. ( I have forgotten to include it in the ingredients image above… )
Water – To soak the tamarind and thin the pulp.
How to make Indian Tamarind Sauce step by step?
- Soak – Add Tamarind to a bowl and then enough hot water from the kettle to cover it. Allow the tamarind to soak for about 30 minutes. To speed up the process, add the tamarind and hot water to a pan and boil for 15 minutes.
- Process -Once the tamarind is cool to touch, squeeze the pulp by hand just enough to loosen it and then transfer the soaked tamarind to the blender jar and process. You may need to add about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water for blending.
- Sieve Pass – it through a mesh sieve to collect all the fiber on the top and the sauce at the bottom. Add a little more water if needed to push the tamarind paste through.
- Spice Powders – Now add the spice powders, salt to the tamarind pulp, and stir to combine.
- Cook – Place the pan on the heat, bring the sauce mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and allow it to simmer for another 6-7 minutes. Continue to cook further if you like it thicker.
- Taste – Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Store – Once the sauce has cooled down, transfer to a convenient glass jar or squirty bottle to serve. Store the remaining sauce in freezer-safe containers and freeze until needed.
Tamarind Sauce recipe Variations
This Homemade Tamarind Dipping Sauce Chutney is versatile, so you can easily customise the flavors. It’s mildly Sweet, Tart and a bit spicy too!
For making Sweet Tamarind Chutney – Use 1 part of Tamarind, 1 part of Pitted Dates, and 1 Part of Jaggery. Plus the spice powders mentioned in the recipe card. This is also called Sonth CHutney and I have a detailed recipe for Dates Tamarind Chutney .
For Instant Tamarind Sauce recipe – Use Tamarind Paste / Concentrate instead of actual tamarind. It will cut down the cooking time by half. Dissolve the tamarind concentrate in water and then add the spices mentioned in the card.
What to serve with this Indian version of Tamarind Sauce?
Serve appetizers like Samosa, Onion Bhaji, Pakora, or even Poppadom with this Tamarind Dipping Sauce. Drizzle this Imli Chutney ( Tamarind Chutney ) on Chaat recipes like Samosa Chole Chaat, Sev Puri, Dahi Puri, and even with Aloo Tikki.
Store this Tamarind Chutney in glass jars for up to 1 month in the fridge. And up to 6 months + in the freezer section.
I like to store in Weck or Kilner or Ball mason jars as they keep the sauce airtight.
Can you Freeze it?
You can freeze this Imli Sauce (Tamarind Chutney ) in glass containers in the freezer for 6 months +. Portion them into small containers and store them. To Thaw the Chutney, transfer the sauce to the refrigerator and leave it overnight and it will be ready to use the next day. Alternatively you can defrost the sauce in the microwave.
Once Thawed, the chutney cannot be frozen again.
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Easy Homemade Tamarind Sauce recipe below
- 1 Cup Tamarind
- 2½ -3 Cup Water
- ¼-½ Cup Jaggery grated
- 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1 Tsp Chaat Masala
- ½ Tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 Tsp Fennel Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Black Salt or Kosher Salt Optional
- Salt to taste
- Add Tamarind to a bowl and then enough hot water to cover it. Allow the tamarind to soak for about 30 minutes.
- Squeeze the pulp by hand a little and then transfer the soaked tamarind to the blender jar and process. You may need to add about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water for blending.
- Turn off the heat and transfer the ingredients to blender and process until it is smooth.
- Pass it through a mesh sieve to collect all the fiber on the top and the sauce at the bottom. Add a little water if needed.
- Add the spice powders to the tamarind pulp, and stir to combine.
- Place the pan on heat, bring the sauce mixture to a rolling boil over medium high heat and allow it to simmer for another 6-7 minutes.
- Continue to cook further if you like it thicker.
- Add the salt, Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Once the sauce has cooled down, transfer to a convenient glass jar or squirty bottle to serve.
- Store the remaining sauce in freezer safe containers and freeze until needed.
LINKIES – I am linking this up to Cook Blog Share Week 26