Tamarind Chutney (LID)

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Tamarind Chutney is a delicious sweet and sour Indian condiment. I especially like it with samosas. There is a good chance you can find a prepared tamarind chutney that is LID-safe at the grocery store in the ethnic aisle. Buy it. That would be so much easier. : )

If you just like to cook and want to try something different, give this recipe a try. It is worth the effort. The tamarind chutney keeps well. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 months. After you are done with LID, Tamarind Chutney is a nice accompaniment to a cheese tray.

Tamarind comes in many forms. Sometimes  you can find the dry pods in Mexican or Indian markets. I have also seen tamarind concentrate. I get “wet” tamarind (from Thailand) at the Asian market. It comes in a solid block. It’s sticky and full of seeds and pod pieces. I use about 1/4 of the package for this recipe (a little over 4 ounces). I cut up the tamarind block so more surface area can be exposed to the hot water.

Wet Tamarind

Tamarind Chutney

4 ounces of wet tamarind, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
pinch of salt

In a bowl, soak the tamarind in the hot water for 15 minutes. Using a spoon or your hands, break up the tamarind and work as much of the pulp off the seeds and pods as possible. It doesn’t look pretty.

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Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over another bowl or measuring cup Work the tamarind through the strainer with a spoon or spatula.

Tamarind Sieve

Discard the seeds and pods left in the strainer. You will have about 1 cup of a somewhat thick tamarind liquid.

In a saucepan, combine the tamarind liquid, sugar, spices, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. The chutney will still be fairly thin, but will thicken slightly when it cools.

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