This tangy chutney can be used as a dip or stir-in sauce for numerous Indian snacks.
- 3/4 cup (200 g) tamarind pulp
- 3 cups (750 ml) hot water
- 10 dates, stones removed (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground red peper
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 cup (120 g) shaved palm sugar or dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Place the tamarind pulp and hot water in a saucepan. Mash and strain the pulp to obtain the liquid. Add the dates, if using, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Strain to remove the seeds and fiber.
Dry-roast the nigella, fenel and cumin seeds in a nonstick wok or skillet for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Grind the seeds to a powder ina blender or mortar and pestle.
Return the strained juice to the saucepan and add red pepper, ginger and the ground spices. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, then add the palm sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add the sugar and salt and mixthoroughly. Serve with appetizers or simple vegetable dishes for extra tang. Will keep iin the refrigrator for about 1 week.