Sweet chutneys are not often the first thing that comes to mind with Indian cuisine, but they have a special place in food. Not everything is hot hot hot. This sweet chutney made using dates and tamarind, a tradition followed all around the country for various different dishes. It’s sweet and tangy, and so very refreshing from the heat and spice that accompanies everything else at a usual indian meal. You can use this sweet chutney on all indian “chaat” items such as Pani Puri, Ragda Patties, Bhel Puri, Aloo Tikki. It’s also a nice dip for Samosas, Pakoras and basically any fried Indian appetiser.
Fresh Dates Chutney
Makes about 20 servings
250g high quality dates
100g dried tamarind (also known as Imli)
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
1 teaspoon Chilli powder
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
Water for boiling (See Step 1 for quantity)
1. Deseed, wash and boil the dates and tamarind until soft, around 20 minutes. Only use enough water to cover the tamarind and dates.
2. Let the mixture cool slightly, then transfer into a blender.
3. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt and blend until smooth. It will be a thick paste at this point.
4. You can freeze this paste to keep for about a month.
5. Before serving, add water and mix until a sauce consistency, similar to ketchup.
photo: Michelle Peters-Jones