4.1/5 rating (24 votes)

Imlee Chutney

Tamarind Chutney

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 5 mins

A delicious hot and sour chutney made with tamarind and delicately balanced with the sweetness of onion and carrots.

Hari says

When I was a kid it was always my job to soak (and rehydrate) the dried tamarind blocks in hot water to squidge out all the tangy flavour. My mum hated wasting anything so I had to keep flushing out the pulp until there was nothing left but the stones and the coarse casing. It took forever and I had more important things I had to be doing... like watching Top of the Pops. Aaaaanyway, years later and after having worked my way through all the tamarind pastes, sauces and concentrates, I have gone full circle and returned to using the blocks as these give the best flavour. Yes, mother, you were right! Imlee is an amazing chutney and it's really easy to make. If you like samosas then you can only ever serve them with this.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste/100g tamarind from a block
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1 chilli (2 chillies for more heat)
  • 1 small carrot, in chunks
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped


  1. If using a block of tamarind hydrate the tamarind by covering it with hot water and soak for 10 minutes. Using a fork mash to remove the flesh. Sieve and keep hold of the tamarind water.
  2. Place tamarind, salt, sugar, garam masala, and water into a bowl and stir together.
  3. Then put the chilli, carrot and onion into a food processor to chop finely.
  4. Stir the finely chopped vegetables into the tamarind water.
  5. Add a splash of lemon juice and stir together.
  6. Refrigerate until required.
  7. Check seasoning before serving and adjust if required.

Served with

This is a beautifully balanced chutney with hot, sweet and tangy flavours. It's great with any snack from a samosa to a dosa.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)0
of which saturates (g)0
Carbohydrates (g)5
of which sugars (g)3
Fibre (g)1
Protein (g)0
Salt (mg)582
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Imlee Chutney ”


Comments (4)

  • Carissa


    28 January 2019 at 03:18 |
    Wondering how many ounces of water in total to add? Thank you.


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      28 January 2019 at 08:54 |
      Hi Carissa it can vary depending on the tamarind you use but it's about 3.5 ounces. You may need to add a bit more so see how you go. Thanks Hari


  • Hari


    16 February 2015 at 08:44 |
    Hi Jean
    This will keep in the fridge for about 3 days and yes you can freeze it. I have to say I do prefer to make it fresh but if you have too much you don't want to throw it out. Hope you enjoyed it.Thanks Hari


  • Jean


    15 February 2015 at 16:45 |
    Hi, I have made this chutney and I am just wondering if it is possible to freeze it. If not, how long will it keep in the fridge?


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