Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind Chutney is the sweet and tangy dipping sauce that often accompanies Indian snack foods and appetizers like Pakoras and Samosas. This recipe is highly customizable! It also makes an affordable and thoughtful gift for foodie friends.

You know what I love about going out for Indian cuisine? Tamarind Chutney. Seriously, the sauce that accompanies pakoras, samosas and battered paneer is like the best sweet and tangy dipping sauce there is, hands down.

As yummy as Tamarind Chutney is, it is so very difficult to take a good picture of it (or any brown sauce, for that matter). These pictures are okay, but they don’t pop or instill a desire in me to make the sauce. As such, they have been sitting on my computer for a few months and this amazing recipe has been ignored. But, with a broken index finger puttering around the kitchen and setting-up the light box to stage a cute photo has not been the easiest task. I figured it was time to break-out this recipe and share it with the world. If anyone has any tips on how to take a great photo of a boring brown sauce, please let me know and I will reshoot! Update January 2018: I reshot! Here is the original pic from November 2016. Phew – much better, eh? Does the sauce a bit more justice!

Tamarind chutney is very customizable and varies a lot from restaurant to restaurant. I have enjoyed it in various ways from a very thin sauce drizzled on a chickpea-based appetizer and a thicker, more sharp tasting dip for fried goodies. I set-out to make my own and landed on the perfect consistency and sweetness for at-home Indian cuisine. It’s so good, I sometimes dip naan right into it and call it a day! #healthychoices

This sauce keeps will in the fridge but can also be frozen and thawed when needed. I just take it out of the freezer about 24 hours before needed and let it thaw, in the fridge in the original freezer bag. I have also jarred the Tamarind Chutney is cute jars and gifted to friends for a Christmas or Housewarming gift. As Tamarind is often one of the first ‘dishes’ people tend to like when being introduced to Indian cuisine, it’s always a hit! In my household, we don’t just enjoy this dip with Indian cuisine but serve this sauce as a dip for homemade oven fries! Seriously, this stuff is better than ketchup!

Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind chutney is the sweet and tangy dipping sauce that accompanies Indian snack foods and appetizers like Pakoras and Samosas. This recipe is highly customizable! It's also makes an affordable gift for foodie friends.
Prep Time30 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Indian


  • 8 oz Tamarind pulp brick form, this is typically half the brick
  • 1 1/4  cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ginger ground


  • Prepare tamarind pulp by cutting into 1 inch cubes. Place in medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, shut-off heat (leave on element) and cover. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to soften.
  • Mash tamarind pulp and water mixture with a potato masher or hands.
  • Filter-out seeds and veins by pushing mixture through fine sieve or cheesecloth. Discard veins and seeds.
  • Add sugar and spices to tamarind pulp and mix well. If sauce is too thick, add water in small amounts until desired consistency.
  • Store in air-tight container in the fridge for two weeks. Mixture can be frozen and thawed!


  1. This sounds fantastic! I have a number of things I could dip in there! Love that it can be frozen.
    And yes, brown food is by far the hardest to photograph. Sauce & dips are the worst, at least with brown food you can side it with colourful vegetables and herbs.

  2. I absolutely *love* tamarind chutney! I’ve never made my own, but it sounds so simple! And I hear ya on photographing brown saucy things… the struggle is real! 😉

    • PeppersPennies

      Hi Ashley! Thanks for coming-by. This sauce is soooo easy, just takes a teeny bit of patience to work the pulp free from the tamarind root. It can easily be sweetened more, if that is your preference. Please let me know how it goes!

  3. Where do you buy the tamarind?

    • PeppersPennies

      Hi Barb! I think you emailed me as well, but just in case… I buy the tamarind bricks from Superstore. They come in a package about the length of a book and one inch. I don’t pay more than $4 for the pulp brick. I have seen them at some select Walmarts as well, but never at Safeway or Sobeys.

  4. I love the way you shot your photos, Amanda! I know from making Brown Pickle chutney what a challenge it can be to photograph. I am looking forward to making your Tamarind Chutney – I appreciate that it is so customizable. Giving this chutney to my chef/foodie friends would be very welcome, I am sure! 🙂

    • PeppersPennies

      Eeek! Thanks for the kind words, Denise! What is up with chutneys and being impossible to capture? Ha! The struggles of a food blogger 😉

  5. This looks delicious! I actually have not found my perfect tamarind chutney recipe yet, this one may looks like it’s it!

  6. These will be great with samosa 🙂 Yum !

    • PeppersPennies

      Hi Suki, Thanks for the love! They go SO well with Samosas! Or indian spiced oven fries! That’s my go-to pairing!

  7. Hahaha! I totally understand the struggles of taking a pretty photo of brown sauce! You’ve done an amazing job with the re-shoot (though the originals were pretty great too)!

    • PeppersPennies

      Thanks, Riz! It is such a struggle, but a good one! It feels FANTASTIC to look back and see your growth and progress.

  8. I love this! Nothing beats homemade condiments, honestly. They’re magical and it’s so nice to sit back and think, “I made that! And it’s better than the stuff in the jar!”

    Now I want samosas.

    • PeppersPennies

      Thanks, Dana! It’s so true! Something as ‘hidden’ as a homemade sauce as part of a spread at a dinner party just shows the level of care and love put into the meal!

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