Dates and Tamarind Chutney or dip

Several of this blogs recipe have been emailing me for this recipe.  This chutney is often referred to as the sweet chutney or Imbli/Ambli Chutney.  It’s made using fresh dates which are sweet and tamarind which is sharp and sour so I would say that this is a sweet and sour chutney.  No Indian snack is complete without this chutney and the green coriander and chillies chutney. 

Ingredients for 2-3 cups of Dates and Tamarind Chutney:

  • 12-14 fresh dates – washed and deseeded and chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate (you can use fresh tamarind or prepared tamarind blocks too.  If using fresh tamarind, use only 3-4 pods of tamarind or just a inch square block of tamarind)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin and coriander mixture
  • ¼ inch of ginger
  • 1 fresh green chilly – chopped in 4 pieces
  • 1-2 tbs jaggery (or brown sugar)


  1. Mix the chopped dates, tamarind concentrate and all the spices apart from jaggery into a deep microwave safe bowl and add 1 cup of water to the mixture.  Cook on high for 3 minutes.  Stir the mixture and feel to see if the dates (and if using fresh tamarind)  have softened.  Give it a further 2-3 minutes to allow the dates and tamarind to soften.
Strain the mixture.  If using fresh tamarind, you may find that it needs a lot more straining and you may have to add ½ cup of boiling water to the mixture to enable you to strain well.
  1. Add the jaggery/brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes or until the jaggery or sugar have blended in. You may have to cook it longer if you had to add water during the straining process.
  1.  The chutney should not be as thick as tomato sauce but more like a dipping sauce kind of thickness.  Taste the chutney and add ingredients to make the chutney to your taste.
  1. Keep the chutney in the fridge to cool and serve with any Indian snacks.
  1. The chutney can be kept in the fridge for  3-4 weeks.

This chutney tastes great when added to any chaats but especially Alu chaat.

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