This is one of the most sought after chutneys in India especially in north India. Filled with the goodness of tamarind, jaggery, dates, raisins, dry gingers etc this sweet and tangy dark chutney is often added to Dahi Vadas, Papdi Chat, gol guppa, bhel-poori, patties, aaloo tikiya, pakodas, boiled Corn on Cob and many other dishes which are an important part of Street food in india. Chaat is incomplete without this lovely sticky chutney and the minty green chutney.
A little gooey like a fruit preserve this can be stored for at least a year. Sounth as it is known in Uttar Pradesh, is spiced with dry ginger or soonth/sonth, hence the name. The sourness of tamarind is balanced by the sweetness of jaggery and the dry ginger adds the much-needed punch to the condiment.
The recipe is simple and easy to make.
Ingredients for the chutney:
Brown Tamarind – 250 Gms ( If using Tamarind paste use same amount)
Fresh Dates – 200 Gms (You can use Chuhara too (dry dates finely chopped ( optional) )
Dry Ginger – 1 Teaspoon
Jaggery – 100 Gms ( adjust according to taste)
Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
Black pepper corns – 6-8 crushed fine
Black Salt – 2 pinches ( I don’t like it )
Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala ( home-made) – 2 pinches ( optional)
Raisins – 10-12
Clean and remove extra fiber from the tamarind if not using the paste. Dip it in 100 ml of hot water and leave for 1/2 an hour ( you can microwave it for 2-3 min also).
Once the tamarind has softened, rub it with hand to extract all the pulp.. You can put it through a plastic sieve to get the maximum pulp. Discard all the fiber and seeds. ( I also put the dates and tamarind straight into 1 and half cup of water along with black peppercorns and place the pot on high heat till it boils and then lower the heat till it is fully cooked. Then turn the heat off and sieve it all to get a thick concoction. Pressing and rubbing with hand or back of spoon helps to extract all the pulp.) Add a little more water to help in the process.
Now, Put the thick mix of dates and tamarind pulp extract in a pot and add half a cup of water ( if needed.) The consistency of the chutney depends on your choice. It shouldn’t be very runny neither should it be very thick (like jam) but some people like it thick to use as a spread.
Add raisins, chuhara ( optional), dry ginger powder, chilli powder, roasted cumin seed powder, black salt and common salt to the liquid and keep boiling it on low flame. Add broken jaggery to the mixture and stir till it dissolves completely.
You may notice some froth forming on the surface. gently remove it with the spoon.
Taste the mixture a bit to adjust whatever you think needs to be added more.
When the mixture reaches the required thickness, turn off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
Once cool spoon it in air tight jars. You can keep this yummy chutney at least for 5-6 months in the fridge but I make small amount that lasts for 2-4 weeks and then another fresh batch)
When refrigerated the chutney often thickens a bit so when you wish to use some, take the desired amount with a clean dry spoon and add a little water ( as needed) to it before using.
Serve with any snack you like or just lick it off the spoon like I do. 🙂
Today I used it for Masala corn on cob and the recipe will be up soon. What more can one ask for during rainy season than a good roasted masala laden lemon drenched corn on cob or boiled one dipped in this spicy tangy sweet liquid.