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Imli/Tamarind Chutney – No Soaking Required

Imli/Tamarind Chutney – No Soaking Required

That is how we keep things simple and doable… eliminate unnecessary preparatory steps to save time without compromising taste and quality of finished product. More or less all tamarind chutneys calls for overnight or few hours of pre soak of imli/tamarind before making chutney out of it. Soaking helps softening of imli/tamarind to extract maximum pulpy goodness from it. I agree fully with this initial step of soaking and think it is crucial to get as much pulp as possible but there are times when a little tweak goes a long way and saves time.

This recipe skips the soaking part and dives directly in to action. The simple way to soften imli/tamarind is to cook it with water in a pot. Yup! That is it. This takes hardly 10-15 minutes, depending on the amount and quality of imli/tamarind of course. This heating and boiling cuts the time short and kick start things. Inli/tamarind gets soft quickly in this hot fluid medium. Once it softens, give it some rest to cool down a bit so it could be handled easily.

Second step is to remove all stones and those string like elements from the mixture. Then simply blend the mixture to get smooth paste like sauce. You can keep it a little chunky too if you want to. Transfer it back to the pot.

Now the fun part that reminds me of Power Puff Girls… when Professor Utonium was trying to create a Perfect Little Girl with sugar, spice and everything nice. For this chutney we have sweetness from white granulated sugar and brown sugar, spice from red chilli flakes and red chilli powder along with a touch of garam masala while everything nice should be white cumin and some ginger or dried ginger powder. Is there a Chemical X? Yeah let’s go with the flow and call distilled white vinegar chemical X. It will not create Power Puff Girls but will sure help preserve this yummy chutney for longer. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to a month.

Imli/Tamarind Cutney - No Soaking Required

Sweet and tangy imli chutney that goes well with everything!

Course Chutney, Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine Pakistani
Keyword Imli Chutney, No soak imli sauce, tamarind chutney
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Author Heenie


  • 100 gm imli/tamarind
  • cups water (more can be added to adjust thickness0
  • 1 tsp white cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger paste (or use ½tsp dried ginger powder)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½-¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar


  1. In a medium sized, non reactive pan, combine imli and water.

  2. Bring to a gentle boil over over medium low flame, stirring in between.

  3. Let it boil for about 2-3 minutes then switch the flame off.

  4. Let it cool slightly.

  5. Remove stones and all impurities from the mixture.

  6. Transfer the mixture in to a blender.

  7. Add white cumin seeds and ginger paste or dried ginger powder.

  8. Run the machine for about 20-30 seconds to get smooth sauce.

  9. Transfer the mixture back to the pot and add brown sugar and white sugar.

  10. Cook over low flame for about 2-3 minutes stirring continuously till sugar dissolves completely.

  11. Add in salt, red chilli powder, red chilli flakes and gram masala powder.

  12. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or till sauce thickens slightly. It will thicken more once it is at room temperature.

  13. Remove from the flame and let cool down.

  14. Add in vinegar.

  15. Store in an airtight container once completely cool.

  16. Keep refrigerated for up to a month.

Recipe Notes

  • Water quantity can be adjusted as required.
  • Add more chilli flakes if you like more spice.
  • You can add gurr (jaggery) instead of brown sugar but do add white sugar as it also helps preserving the chutney.

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