Sweet Chutney, also known as Tamarind and Dates Chutney or Meethi Chutney, is a sweet, spicy and tangy condiment commonly ised in Indian Street Food (Chaat) recipes across India. A lot of folks simply make this with Tamarind, and use sugar to add sweetness, though we do recommend using Dates too, if you can. Because of the use of so much tamarind – which also acts as a ‘preservative’, this chutney lasts in the refrigerator for 6-12 months. You can make this ahead of time and store, for whenever you need a quick dipping sauce or sweet and tangy garnish.
I’d even go so far as to say that this chutney is indispensable for Indian chaat, and even if you’re not a fan of the sweet and spicy combination, you must use a bit of this chutney to enhance the spicy flavors too. The sweetness is derived from dates, and supplemented by Jaggery (Gud), while the tangy flavor is from the tamarind. The chutney also is spiced mildly with some ginger powder, red chili powder and cumin powder. I usually soak my tamarind and dates in filtered warm water for an hour or two to soften them, and then remove seeds if any, before blending. I usually cook it to a thick paste, so it lasts for a longer time, and then whenever I need a dipping sauce or a chutney, I just take a spoonful, liquify in some water and use it. It’s perfect every single time.
Here’s a short video on how I make my sweet chutney aka the great Khajur Imli ki chutney –
How to Make Sweet Chutney | How to make Date and Tamarind Chutney
So the first things you’ll need are dates and tamarind. You should be able to find the seedless kinds in the market, but if not, you can always just buy the regular ones you find, soak in warm water and deseed them. We don’t want to add the seeds to a blender (it’ll ruin your blades).
Once you have the basic ingredients, its really easy. Just blend until you’ve got a smooth puree, pass it through a sieve to ensure its a smooth and homogenous mixture, then cook with spices until you’ve got yourself a sweet chutney! That’s about it.
How to Store and Use Sweet Chutney
This chutney should be store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. It can be stored for 6-12 months (depends on how cold your fridge is, but usually it lasts 12 months).
You can use it in its thick form as is. But a better way to serve it is to loosen it up with some water, and then serve as a dipping sauce.
In fact, for chaat foods like sev puri and bhel puri, it has to be in its liquid form to garnish easily. You can also make it super watery, and adjust for sugar, lemon, salt and spices, and use it as the “meetha paani” or sweet water for Pani Puri (gol gappa). But as always, there are no rules to how you like to serve them!
Here’s the printable recipe for the sweet chutney:
Khajur Imli ki Chutney (Sweet Chutney)
- 100 gms seedless Dates (or remove seeds)
- 75 gms seedless Tamarind (or remove tamarind)
- 4 Tbsp Jaggery or Gud (or sugar) – adjust to taste
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Ginger Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- Soak the tamarind and dates separately in warm water for 1 hour. If they're not seedless, them remove the seeds. Add to blender & blend with a little water until you have a smooth puree. Pass through a sieve to have a smooth and homogenous mixture.
- Add the dates and tamarind extract along with 2 cups of water in a heavy bottomed pan. Add all the other ingredients, and mix well. Cook on medium heat, stirring every minute or two. Cook until raw smell disappears and you have a thick paste. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Let it cool completely. Store in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for upto 12 months. You can use as is (as a thick chutney), or loosen it up to your desired consistency with some water.
- Dates: if your dates are dry and hard, just soak in warm water for about an hour, they’ll soften, and then you can remove the seeds!
- Tamarind: you can adjust the amount of tamarind based on how Khatta/tangy you want the chutney to be
- Jaggery / Gud: this adds to the sweetness of the chutney, and you can adjust it based on how sweet you like the chutney. If you don’t have this, you can use sugar or brown sugar or any sweetener you like
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Originally Published on: 27 June, 2022
Update in 2023: omg! I still make a batch of this chutney every single year, and it never fails me! I also experiment now with spices like ground black pepper, fennel powder etc. and I usually like them all! That’s the thing about a recipe, innit? You can always tweak the ingredients and add on a few here and there to make it the way YOU like! 🙂