Thursday, March 24, 2016

Date and Tamarind Chutney

If your like me an really have no clue what a chutney is - let me help you out (if you smarter than me and can figure it out - skip this paragraph) A chutney is either a pickled presentation of fruits and seasonings or a minced presentation. Not very helpful? I didn't think so.  Basically Chutney's can be a variety of different things and are served as side or accompaniment to a dish (my best way of describing it would be to tell you to think of Relish). 

I've often seen Mango or Mint chutney's at the grocery store or Indian restaruants but never really understood what their point or purpose was.  Basically - like any condiment - it can add texture and flavour to a dish or in the case of yogurt based chutneys calm the heat of a dish (that's a huge plus for me!).

I've always wondered about Tamarind - I've seen it used and heard of it but never really could figure out what it was. Frankly one day I saw Tamarind paste in the produce section of the store next to a box of Tamarinds and figure - what the heck I would try it out. So Tamarind is a pod-like fruit - you eat the pulp of the fruit. Young Tamarind is very sour but is sometimes used in savoury dishes or as a pickling agent. As the fruit ripens it becomes sweeter and less sour (acidic). I never knew this until researching Tamarind and I do have to verify on my bottle at home - but apparently it is found in Worcestershire Sauce <- that's crazy something that we use all  the time - but who knew? Now you do!

The Chutney was amazingly easy to make and next time frankly I should make a double batch as it disappeared SO quickly.   This will keep in a clean container in the fridge for a week or can be frozen for a couple of months.  I used one of my sterilized jam jars.

Date and Tamarind Chutney
4 ounces dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
a pinch of child powder.
2/3 cup cold water

  1. Throw the dates into a blender (or Vitamix) with 2/3 cup cold water, tamarind paste, salt, cumin and chili powder, and blend to the consistency of half &half. 
  2. All dates vary in sweetness.  The end result should be balanced between sweet and sour - if too sour add some sugar little by little. When right spoon into a clean jar. 

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