Indian tamarind chutney

    40 min

    A sweet and spicy smooth chutney made with tamarind paste, cumin, ginger, fennel seeds and garam masala. Spoon on top of cooked chicken breasts or simply use as a dip for poppadoms or warm naan bread.

    79 people made this

    Serves: 10 

    • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida or garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
    • 475ml (16 fl oz) water
    • 225g (8 oz) caster sugar
    • 40g (about 3 tablespoons) tamarind paste

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, cayenne pepper, fennel seeds, asafoetida and garam masala; cook and stir for about 2 minutes to release the flavours.
    2. Stir the water into the pan with the spices along with the sugar and tamarind paste. Bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat until the mixture turns a deep chocolaty brown and is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. This should take 20 to 30 minutes. The sauce will be thin, but it will thicken upon cooling.


    Asafoetida is used a lot in Indian cooking. It has a strong onion-garlic flavour but a little goes a long way. If you can't find it use garlic powder.

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    Reviews in English (35)


    Surprised there are no reviews of this yet! I regularly visit the Mughli restaurant in Manchester and they often serve an incredible small pot of a tangy sauce with some of their starters. I knew it had tamarind in because of the tang and the colour and it also has great aromatic flavours so I wanted to find a recipe which seemed similar. Just made this and added some fresh coriander and finely chopped red chilli and it has turned out superb - sweet, tangy and spicy. Great recipe for accompanying starters such as samosas / onion bhajis or poppadoms.  -  28 Mar 2015


    Tasted delicious but after simmering for over an hour ended up having to thicken it with cornflour as it was just a delicious tasting pan of brown water. Will make again but using much less water than suggested.  -  29 Aug 2017


    This was EXCELLENT, just perfect. Really easy to make and tasted delicious. I used jaggery instead of caster sugar...  -  18 Jul 2017