Anyone who loves Indian street food knows the taste of Indian Chaat – pani puri, chole tikiya, ragda pattice. Papdi chaat etc.
However, there is a key ingredient in all these preparations – the tangy, lip smacking imli (tamarind) chutney.
I grew up in North India but have been settled in West India for nearly 2 decades now. And, I do love my chaat. However, unlike the tamarind version we get in North India, West India is more partial to the sweeter Khajoor (date) chutney.
But I cannot do without my imli chutney. My version is straight from my home state of Uttar Pradesh.
IMLI CHUTNEY (tamarind chutney)
1 cup tamarind paste
2 tsp mint leaves, chopped
½ tsp black rock salt (If more is needed then white salt can be added too)
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp saunth (dry ginger powder)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 dried red chili
2 tsp cumin powder
½ cup jaggery/ sugar (depending on the tartness of the tamarind, you can increase the quantity)
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
2 cups warm water
- Heat the ghee in a pan and add the fennel seeds. Once they start to splutter add the red chili.
- Heat two cups of water and dissolve the tamarind paste in that. Once done add the solution to the pan.
- Add the red chili powder, cumin powder, dry ginger powder, pepper powder and rock salt.
- Stir and mix well. Let the mixture come to a boil.
- Add the jaggery/sugar and let the mixture bubble for about 10-15 minutes on low heat. It should reduce in volume. We are looking for a 50% reduction or till the mixture thickens.
- Once done, stir in the mint leaves and take off the heat.