Serves: 2 Cups
- 1 packed cup tamarind pulp (don’t worry if there are seeds)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chopped pitted dates (approx 20 dates)
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Heat water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add tamarind pulp to hot water. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes, breaking pulp with wooden spoon. Turn off heat.
- Strain into a cup and discard pulp and seeds if there are seeds. You will be left with about 1 cup of tamarind water.
- Place tamarind water back into saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low. Add chopped dates.
- Add chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt. Stir well, slightly mashing dates with wooden spoon.
- Cook 10 minutes. The mixture will slowly reduce and begin to look like a chutney.
- Turn off heat. Pour mixture into blender or mini food processor and blend, adding water as needed, up to 1 cup.
- Add brown sugar to taste. (The addition of this depends on the sweetness and variety of your dates).
- Serve with roasted papadums, samosas, chaat, or pakoras, or in a peanut-butter sandwich!
Tamarind concentrate could be substituted for the pulp to save time, but the flavor won’t be as fruity and pure as it is with using the pulp. Tamarind pulp can be purchased at Asian or Indian grocery stores.
For a very short shortcut, you could use 2 tablespoons of tamarind concentrate dissolved in 1 cup warm water. Blend this with a 16 oz. jar of apple butter (yes apple butter!). Add the above listed chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt and you have a fairly good and tasty substitute!