Tamarind pulp has a fruity, sour taste and is frequently used in South Indian cooking. In this recipe, a touch of raw sugar is added to bring out a sweet and sour contrast of flavors. This chutney selection from Hyderabad goes well with virtually any savory.
Preparation time (after assembling ingredients) and cooking time: about 30 minutes
• Hall of seeded dried tamarind pulp – 1 ½ -inch (37 g)
• Hot tap water – ½ cup (120 ml)
• Each chopped fresh mint and coriander – 2 table spoons (30 ml)
• Crumbled jaggery or date sugar – 3 table spoons (45 ml)
• Hot green chilies, seeded and chopped – 2-3
• Salt – ½ teaspoon (2 ml)
• Grated fresh coconut, lightly packed – 1 ¼ cups (105 g)
• Ghee or sesame oil – 3 table spoons (45 ml)
• Black mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
• Yellow asafetida powder (hing) – ¼ teaspoon (1 ml)
• Curry leaves, preferably fresh – 10
Note: This amount applies only to yellow Cobra brand. Reduce any other asafetida by three-fourths.
1. Place the tamarind in a ceramic or stainless steel bowl and add the hot water. Set aside for 15 minutes. Rub the tamarind through your fingers to separate the soft pulp from the seeds. Pass through a strainer and collect all of the puree. Discard the fibers and seeds.
2. Combine the tamarind puree, herbs, sweetener, chilies and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, or a blender. Cover and process to a smooth puree. Add the coconut and process until well mixed. Transfer to a non-metallic bowl or ceramic dish.
3. Heat the ghee or oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the black mustard seeds and fry until they begin to sputter and turn gray. Remove the pan from the heat, add the asafetida and curry leaves, and after several seconds pour the seasonings into the chutney. Stir well. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Tightly covered and refrigerated, the chutney can be kept for 1-2 days.
Makes 1 ½ cups (60 ml)