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Nov 7, 2006 11:42 PM

Tamarind chutney

I love this stuff at indian restaurants; it is usually served as a dipping sauce for samosas. So I decided, to buy some from an indian store to serve with homemade samosa. I bought this brand from India called QUALTY that says on the package chutney for samosa and pakora made from tamarind, date and spices. It is absolutely vile. It has an off smell and has a weird aftertaste. As far as I can tell it is not past its due date. I noticed that one of the ingredients is tartaric acid. Could this be the reason for the offending taste and smell?
Do you recommend other brands or will I run into the same problem?

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  1. Is there a chance you got tamarind paste instead of tamarind chutney? I don't like tamarind paste straight out of the jar either; it's really meant for cooking.

    Just a thought.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Smokey

      No it was chutney, not paste or pulp.

    2. Could be an off brand, but I think the problem might be that the "real thing" usually has a fair amount of black salt in the "spices and seasonings." It's pretty sulforous and if you haven't grown up with it, it takes some getting used to, if you ever actually do. (Myself, I've grown to like in small amounts - smaller than Indians would generally use.)

      If you're going to all the trouble of making the samosas in the first place, you might as well take another 20 minutes for the sauce. (It freezes pretty well, and the undiluted tamarind pulp lasts a *really* long time in the fridge.)

      Keep in mind that many recipes may be hotter/spicier/more pungent than what you get in restaurants that don't cater primarily to S Asians, so do taste as you go. Google quickly brings up lots of recipes most of which are more or less the same base with different seasonings:

      1. PS: You can also try a more specific search for "imli chutney" or "imli ki chatni."

        1. Tamarind pulp or Dried tamarind powder
          Soft fresh dates
          Soft jaggery or Brown Sugar
          Red chili powder
          Cumin powder
          Coriander powder

          These are the basic ingredients. Blend them together and adjust the seasoning for a sweet/sour balance you like.

          1. Does tamarind powder really work in this chutney? Isn't it kind of flat tasting?

            For this, where it's most of what you're going to eat, rather than just a little for background flavor and acidity, I wouldn't even use the packaged concentrate - I'd stick with the dried pulp.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MikeG

              Good point MikeG... my mom use to give me tamarind candy when i was little girl. I guess they rolled it up into a little log and u would break off a piece since it was sectioned by the tamarind seed. THought it was weird at first but kinda liked it.

              Sometimes I do see homemade chutney in artisan jars but I am weary of it. I'd rather purchase some from the resto where I've tried it.