Date and tamarind chutney is simple to make and transforms Indian food when added to it. Mildly spiced this sweet, rich chutney is a must for any curry night.
Date and tamarind chutney is a joy to eat and transforms any dish you add it too. Mildly spiced with a rich, depth of flavour, this spicy date chutney is something I always have a jar of in my fridge.
I love making chutneys to go with Indian food. In fact no Indian meal is complete without some tasty chutneys to dips your snacks into. Add some to dishes like puris, pakoras and samosas for a real flavour explosion.
This easy date and tamarind chutney has the perfect balance of sweet, sour and spice flavours. Once made this chutney also keeps in the fridge for months, ready to add a hit of warming spice to any dish.
This quick tamarind chutney can be made in less than 30 minutes and keeps for 4-5 months in the fridge. It is really easy to make and will taste better than any shop bought dips.
I love to serve this deep and tangy flavoured chutney with a vibrant fresh and herby Green chutney. One rich, dark and spicy, the other fresh, sour and spicy. For me this is the perfect combination of chutneys for any Indian dinner.
Date & Tamarind Chutney – recipe steps:
- Prepare all the ingredients as this is a quick cook.
- Remove the stone from the dates (or buy ready pitted dates) and place in a food process and blend. This will not give you a smooth consistency but will break down the dates.
- Don’t have a food processor, use a pestle and mortar instead.
- Place the dates in a non-stick saucepan and add the tamarind paste and sugar. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
- In a separate pan dry roast the ground cumin and chilli powder over a medium heat to release the spice flavour and add to the date mixture along with the salt and enough water to loosen the mixture.
- Continue to cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes to allow the chutney to thicken. Keep stirring to stop the mixture from sticking.
- Take off the heat and pass the chutney through a fine sieve to obtain a really smooth consistency.
- Pour into a container with a lid and once cooled, keep in the fridge.
Date and tamarind chutney is really versatile. When you need to use the chutney you can add it to dishes as it is, or add a little water to get to the consistency of your choosing.
This quick tamarind chutney is great with Indian chaat style dishes, add it to puris for a spicy sweet twist. Drizzle some over pakoras and samosas and you will transform them.
One of my favourite ways of enjoying this spicy date chutney is with our Easy Paneer Curry. Take a chapati and fill it with crunchy salad vegetables and spoon over the curry. Then come the chutneys to finish it off.
Top the paneer curry with some date and tamarind chutney, watered down a little so that you can drizzle it over, and add some of our our fresh and spicy Green Chutney. Once you’ve tried this taste sensation you’ll keep coming back to this recipe again and again.
Recipe substitutions and variations:
- Dates form the base for this rich and spicy chutney. You can buy whole or ready pitted dates in most supermarkets. Just remember if you buy whole dates, pit them before popping into the food processor.
- Tamarind paste flavours this quick tamarind chutney. Many recipes ask that you use whole tamarind, however I have adapted this recipe to what I can buy locally. I have used tamarind paste in place of cooking and preparing a whole tamarind. It also makes this chutney a lot quicker to produce.
- Ground cumin is a great tasting spice, but one that won’t add any heat to the chutney. Cumin adds a real depth of flavour.
- Chilli powder adds some spicy heat. Different chilli powders will produce differing amounts of heat in the chutney so use one you are familiar with.
- Dark muscovado adds the sweetness to balance out the spices in this dish. Many recipes use jaggery, which has a sweet, molasses type taste. If you can get jaggery then use that. Dark muscovado sugar is a great substitute and is more readily available in our supermarkets.
Can I made Date & Tamarind Chutney ahead of time?
Once made, this spicy date chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 months in a sterilised jar and used when required. It’s delicious with Indian snack food, curries and spiced dishes.
Use the chutney as it is or add a splash of water to get it the consistency that you want. I like to keep it thicker for dipping, but thinner if drizzling over a curry.
Useful hints and tips:
- If you don’t have a food processor to blitz up the dates, you can use a pestle and mortar to grind the fruit up instead. It will just take a few minutes longer.
- This recipe makes a really smooth chutney however, if you prefer a chunkier consistency to your spicy tamarind chutney do not pass it through the sieve and jar it straight from the pan.
- Keep this spicy chutney in a sterilised jar in the fridge. For instructions on how to sterilise a jar pop over to our Apple Jelly post where you will find full instructions.
- Suitable for vegan diets.
- Allergy advice: gluten free, dairy free, egg free. Many people with a nut allergy avoid eating dates.
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then try it served alongside some of our curry recipes:
- Easy Paneer Curry (Matar Paneer)
- Easy Chickpea & Spinach Curry
- Lamb & Spinach Curry
- Butter Chicken Curry
Date & Tamarind Chutney
- 12 dates (pitted)
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp dark muscavado sugar
- ¾ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- water as required
- Grind up the dates, using a blender or food processor. If you have neither then a pestle and mortar will do.
- Place the dates in a non-stick saucepan and add the tamarind paste and sugar. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
- In a separate pan dry roast the cumin and chilli powder over a medium heat to release their flavour and then add to the tamarind and date mixture, along with the salt and enough water to loosen the mixture.
- Continue to cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes allowing the chutney to thicken, taking care not to let the mixture stick.
- Take off the heat and pass the chutney through a fine sieve to obtain a smooth chutney. Then pour into a serving bowl and once cool refrigerate.
- When needed take some of the chutney and add a little water to get to the consistency of your choosing.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook
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