Spiced Tamarind Chutney Recipe

Subtly spiced and earthly sweet.

A wide, shallow cream-colored ceramic bowl with brown speckles of glaze on it, holding chunky tamarind chutney and a metal spoon. The bowl is placed on a copper tray and in the top left corner of the image is another similar bowl holding a different sauce.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Why This Recipe Works

  • Palm sugar and dates give this chutney body and earthy sweetness.
  • Ground ginger and Kashmiri red chile powder add savory spice and depth.

It's rare to find mint chutney without its partner in crime, sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney. Store-bought and restaurant versions are often sickly-sweet, loaded with corn syrup and sugar. Instead, my homemade chutney recipe gets its body and mellow sweetness from chewy dates and earthy palm sugar.

Tamarind can be found in many forms, from jarred concentrates to dried whole pods. Here, I've used seedless tamarind paste, which gives all the flavor of the fresh pods without any of the fuss. A quick steep in hot water softens the dates and tamarind and melts the palm sugar, readying it all to be blended into a smooth chutney.

November 2017

This recipe was originally published as a component of our Papri Chaat (Indian Street Snack With Potato, Chickpeas, and Chutneys) Recipe and is being republished here as a separate recipe to make it easier to use.

Recipe Details

Spiced Tamarind Chutney Recipe

Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 25 mins
Serves 12 servings
Makes 1 1/2 cups

Subtly spiced and earthly sweet.


  • 4 medjool dates (40g), pitted

  • 1/3 cup (85g) tamarind paste (not concentrate)

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) ginger powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Kashmiri red chile powder (see note)

  • 1/3 cup (100g) palm sugar or light brown sugar


  1. In a small saucepan, combine dates, tamarind paste, ginger powder, chile powder, sugar, and 3/4 cup (175ml) water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes to soften the tamarind paste and dates. 

    A four-image collage. The top left image shows the tamarind paste being transferred from a small white ramekin into a stainless steel pot. The top right image shows the sugar being transferred into the pot. The bottom left image shows the spices being transferred into the pot. The bottom right image shows the ingredients fully incorporated in the pot and coming to a boil.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

  2. Using a blender, purée until smooth (if chutney is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time to reach desired consistency), then pass through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any fibrous bits. Store in an airtight container.

    A two-image collage. The top image shows the cooked tamarind chutney being poured from a stainless steel pot into a blender. The bottom image shows the interior of the blender bowl holding the thick, blended chutney.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik


Kashmiri red chile powder is mild and fruity. If you cannot find it and wish to substitute cayenne pepper, be sure to cut the amount used in the recipe by half.

Special Equipment

Fine mesh strainer

Make-Ahead and Storage

The chutney will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
60 Calories
0g Fat
15g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 60
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 74mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)