Date and Tamarind chutney
Time for something tangy and sweet to accompany your fritters and fries. Its like brown-bronzy liquid gold that lasts in your fridge for months and freezes well too! I had mentioned the tamarind and date chutney as part of the ingredients in my post of Raj Kachori. We've always had chutney in our fridge since almost forever. I tend to make a second batch as soon as it appears that the first batch is getting finished, thats how much of it we consume! But be careful with this as eating large quantities might make your throat sore because afterall it is Tamrind based (I don't get bothered by this fact and often get a sore throat because of this reason, but who cares when there's a rhapsody of flavours dancing on your tongue)
I have used the chutney for Raj Kachori, Sev puri, and Samosas.
Here's the recipe for the simple Indian chutney that can enhance the flavours of your chaat treats. This goes on almost all Indian chaats, be used on Dahi vadas, be incorporated in the Pani puri water and can be eaten with hot Indian Pakoras. I am making a north Indian version of this Chutney as every region might have some variations.
2 cups tamrind
1 1/2 cup Jaggery
10-12 dates (deseeded)
2 tsp black salt /kala namak
2 tsp dry ginger powder
10 cups water
1 dry bay leaf
2-3 black cardamoms
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp carom seeds/ ajwain
Salt to taste (1 - 1 1/2tsp)
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp coriander seeds for tempering (coarsely ground)
2 tbsp fennel seeds for tempering
Pinch of love
Take all the ingredients except for oil, coriander seeds and fennel seeds and add to a pot/ pan to simmer on medium low flame. I like to simmer it for bout a couple of hours where I like adding a splash of water once in a while so that the water level remains constant. You can do this for anywhere from 25 mins to 3 hours. So at the end of bout an hour, I temper my chutney. take another pan, add the oil to and heat it till it begins to shimmer. Add the fennel seeds and the coarsely ground coriander and cook them for a couple of minutes. Temper your chutney with this mixture. Let it simmer again for a while and turn off the gas. Let it cool down before you begin sieving it through a sieve. The best part is when you get to squelch the tamarind through your fingers to get all the pulp.
Your chutney is ready, just taste it for salt! Make adjustments if needed. Store it in a clean airtight jar and it will last really long in your fridge, that is if you don't finish it! Serve the cool, tangy. sweet chutney as a side of home made Aloo Samosas (crispy triangular pastry stuffed with savoury potatoes) - Recipe for Samosa to follow soon!