Tamarind Sauce

Ready in 5 minutes, tamarind sauce or tamarind chutney is asweet and tangy delicious accompaniment to many dishes.  It is made with tamarind, a few spices and jaggery to make a sweet tamarind chutney.
Tamarind sauce in a small steel bowl with a gold spoon and a pink cloth to the side.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free

This tamarind sauce is known as a chutney that is a staple along with green mint chutney and garlic chutney amongst Indian cuisine. Indian tamarind sauce is that brown sauce you see served in a small bowl with samosas! Cilantro mint chutney is the green sauce served with samosas. These samosa dipping sauces can be used for so many other dishes too!

It is also commonly served with other Indian appetizers, snacks and a popular Indian street foods such as chaats like chana chaat and samosa chaat.

Tamarind grows on tamarind trees which are native to Africa and Asia. On its own, tamarind has a tart / sour taste. Balanced with sweetness and spices, it become a tasty sauce with depth of flavor.

Tamarind sauce ingredientes overhead shot.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Tamarind: I have used tamarind concentrate / tamarind paste to make this easy to make. No prep is needed, just add it to the recipe.

  • You can also use seedless tamarind.  The tamarind is soaked in hot water and then blended to form a tamarind pulp. This pulp is then passed through a fine mesh strainer before being combined with the other ingredients.
  • Tamarind concentrate, paste or seedless tamarinds are all very easily found at your local Indian grocery store.  I believe you can also find them in an Asian grocery store as tamarind is used in some Thai dishes as well such as pad thai.

Sweetener: I’ve used jaggery powder, it gives a lovely taste.

  • You can also use sugar, agave, brown sugar, palm sugar or really anything at your disposable.  Just adjust the amount of sweetener used.  Jaggery is a little less sweet than regular sugars so you will likely need less.

Note: if you prefer a thicker version of this sauce, this imli chutney or imli ki chutney recipe uses both tamarind and dates. The dates provide a natural sweetener and thickens the sauce. Imli means tamarind. Or, apple butter chutney is another alternative that is delicious.

Spices: Chili powder can be adjusted to your preference to heat.  Start at ½ the amount if you prefer it less spicy.

  • You can also substitute for a chili powder that is more easily available to you such as cayenne pepper.

Other optional add-ins: ginger powder, garam masala, fennel powder, chaat masala

Making the Tamarind sauce recipe

  • In a small saucepan, add ¼ cup water and jaggery powder and turn the gas on medium heat.
  • Within a minute or two the jaggery will begin to melt. Mix to melt completely.
  • Turn gas to low-medium and add the rest of the ingredients (tamarind concentrate and spices). 
  • Mix and let simmer on low for 1-2 minutes to help the spices mix.  Turn off gas.

The tamarind mixture will slightly thicken as it cools.  It will be a pouring consistency. Note, at Indian restaurants it tends to be a little more watery. You can adjust to your preference.

Serving the sauce

This is served at room temperature, so give it a little time to cool

This Indian tamarind sauce can be served with so many Indian appetizers and different types of samosas. I have a variety of baked samosas: samosa pinwheels, samosa wreath and jalapeno cheddar samosa.

It goes with many chaats as well. Other options include using it as a tamarind glaze. I think it would taste great with some grilled paneer. You could use it as a tamarind dipping sauce as well.

Tamarind sauce in a small steel bowl with a gold spoon and a pink cloth to the side.

Storing Tamarind Sauce

This chutney keeps well in the refrigerator for a month easily in an airtight container.

Make sure, to use a clean and dry spoon every time when taking out the chutney and it should last long.

This tamarind chutney can also be frozen.  Chutneys are easy recipes and can be easily incorporated into meal plans.

Tamarind sauce in a small steel bowl with a gold spoon and a pink cloth to the side.

Yummy 5 Minute Tamarind Sauce / Tamarind Chutney

Shilpa Joshi
Ready in 5 minutes, tamarind sauce or tamarind chutney is asweet and tangy delicious accompaniment to many dishes.  It is made with tamarind, a few spices and jaggery to make a sweet tamarind chutney.
5 from 6 votes
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Chutney
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 80 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 small saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 6 tbsp jaggery substitute sugar, dark sugar, agave but adjust starting with less as jaggery is less sweet
  • ¼ cup water
  • tbsp tamarind concentrate / paste
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan, add ¼ cup water and jaggery powder and turn the gas on medium heat.Within a minute or two the jaggery will begin to melt. Mix to melt completely.
  • Turn gas to low-medium and add the rest of the ingredients (tamarind concentrate and spices). 
  • Mix and let simmer on low for 1-2 minutes to help the spices mix.  Turn off gas.
  • Let cool to serve at room temperature.

Notes

Makes 1/4 cup
  • Sweetener: You can also use sugar, agave, brown sugar, palm sugar or really anything at your disposable.  Just adjust the amount of sweetener used.  Jaggery is a little less sweet than regular sugars so you will likely need less.
Note: if you prefer a thicker version of this sauce, this imli chutney or imli ki chutney recipe uses both tamarind and dates. The dates provide a natural sweetener and thickens the sauce. Imli means tamarind. Or, apple butter chutney is another alternative that is delicious.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 148mgPotassium: 6mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 39IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts on “Tamarind Sauce”

  1. Love this, very close to the restaurant versions I love. Very easy. I use more water, dry roasted cumin and coriander. Ummmmm

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