In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Simple Tamarind Chutney Recipe.

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Here’s another one of those spicy condiments I grew up enjoying with many of the street food sold outside the gates of my secondary school in San Fernando, Trinidad at recess and lunch time. Usually used as a dipping sauce for Pholourie and Saheena… and as a topping for doubles and aloo pies. But I think we most enjoyed it on it’s own, as a thick savory sauce when our taste buds craved something exciting (especially when we didn’t have enough money for the pholourie). You’ll find that I did stray a bit from the traditional type recipes, however you’ll enjoy the subtle complex flavors.

You’ll Need…

12-14 tamarinds
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper diced
1/2 onion diced
2 scallions diced
2 tablespoon chopped shado beni (or cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon salt (see note below)
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cloves garlic (diced or crushed)
2 1/2 cups water + 1 cup
1/2 lime (juice)

Note – depending on how tart (sour) your tamarind is you may need a bit more salt and brown sugar. If tamarind pulp (solid block, not the liquid)  is available in your grocery store, it will save you having to remove the shell/seeds (would have already been removed).

Important! If doing this recipe according to a gluten free diet, be sure to go through the entire list of ingredients to ensure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary requirements.

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Crack the shell of the tamarinds and remove the pulp. Discard the shell and stringy bits, and get ready to cook. It will be sticky on your fingers.

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Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the pulp, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool, so you can safely handle it.

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As it simmers, prep you other ingredients (chop finely or puree).

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With the boiled tamarind pulp cool, it’s now time to use your hand/fingers and remove the hard seeds on the inside (discard).

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Place the pot back on a medium flame and add another cup of water – bring to a boil.

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Now go in with all the other ingredients and after it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for another 20 minutes.

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At this point all the flavors should have combined nicely, so it’s time to use a blender or stick blender to puree it into a sauce (with texture). Or you can add a bit more water and allow it to cook longer until everything breakdown into the sauce consistency you like. Be sure to taste for salt and sugar and adjust accordingly as some tamarind can be a bit more tart than others. Tamarind chutney is supposed to be the perfect balance between tart, sweet and spicy!

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You can place it in a glass container and store in the fridge for at least 1 week.

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Simple Tamarind Chutney Recipe.
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  1. Netsanet
    May 9, 2021 / 5:50 pm

    Thanks. I added a bit more sugar. Delicious

  2. Maggie
    December 14, 2017 / 5:45 am

    Is it possible to make this as a preserve ie, that it can last for several months similar to mango chutney?

    • Hana
      July 2, 2018 / 10:59 am

      Hi Maggie
      In my point of you I think that taste will extremely vary if you try to add say like white vinegar or more salt or sugar or mustard oil to it opting for longevity so, fresh is best. Sorry.

  3. Salima
    July 30, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    If I can find the block tamarind, how much should I use to get the equivalent of 12-14 whole ones?

    • Hana
      July 2, 2018 / 11:01 am

      Two blocks is ideal.
      Imagine dividing the block into finger-size segments you end up with 6 or 7 from one block.. so 2 is fine.

  4. Carlotta
    January 28, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    Hey Chris I really love your vids and your food looks awesome! Keep up the good work 🙂

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