I love Chaat! And growing up in Delhi (sort of) makes you a Chaat Snob!
You have a favorite haunt for each particular type of Chaat in every corner of the city. You know which hawker sells the best Gol-gappas and which place sells the best Samosas and Jalebis!
As sacrilegious as it may sound to Mumbaikars, you know that the Paani-poori from Bombay just don’t hit the mark for you!
And why would it? Delhi is the birthplace of Chaat!
According to historian Sohail Hashmi in the show Raja, Rasoi aur Anya Kahaniyan (Kings, Kitchens and other stories), when Mughal emperor Shah Jahan made Delhi the capital of his kingdom, his personal physician advised that the water of the river Yamuna is not potable and to deal with that the populace will have to change their food habits. He recommended that to strengthen one’s immunity, they’ll have to eat a lot of spices but to counter the effects of eating spicy food, they’ll have to make the food greasy. The non-vegetarians developed spicy curries while the vegetarians developed Chaat by using a lot of sour sauces, chilli and spices.
And that is all how it started!
Old Delhi still remains the hub for the best chaat available in Delhi. And an integral ingredients in most chaats is the sweet and spicy Imli (Tamarind) chutney used in Gol-Gappas (Dough balls filled with Spicy Water), Dahi Bhalle (Dal Fritters in Spicy Yogurt), Bhel Puri and the like.
I terribly miss the spicy Delhi Chaat in Dubai and so I usually make a batch of this chutney and store in the fridge for a year for use on homemade Chaats, Dahi Bhallas or just a topping for Besan Cheelas.
Try it out and you’ll know what you were missing all along!
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Homemade Imli #Chutney to go with samosas, dahi bhalle or any chaat! 🤤 @sakshipakshi usually keeps a batch ready in her fridge for Chaat Craving Emergencies (We all have them, don’t we?) 😁 And with #Holi approaching, we know you too will surely need the recipe for your #chaat fix! Find out how she makes it on our blog. Link in bio soon! 👆🏽 . . . #kitchenpostcards #imli #imlichutney #cravings #tangy #holirecipe #indianfood #sauce #expatfood #food52 #f52grams #huffposttaste #foodtalkindia #dubaifoodblog #dubaibostonfoodblog #bostonfoodie #dxbfoodie #eatoutdxb #tasty #feedfeed #foodblogfeed #veganfoodshare
Sweet Tamarind (Imli) Chutney for Chaat
200 gms Tamarind
Water for soaking
2 and 1/2 cup Sugar (approximately)
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
2 teaspoons Roasted Cumin Powder
a handful Raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried Ginger powder (Saunth powder)
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala
Soak the tamarind in water for 5-6 hours or overnight.
Mash the tamarind with a spoon or your (clean) hands in the water to make a rough paste.
Using a big strainer and another pot, drain the tamarind water to separate the seeds. Mash the tamarind chunks with a spoon against the strainer to break it down to a pulp. You may have to pick the seeds out if you’re not using seedless tamarind like me.
You may need to strain the mash with additional half a cup of water to get all the pulp out.
Transfer the pulp in a saucepan and place on medium heat.
Add salt and red chilli powder and let the pulp cook till it comes to a boil.
Let the pulp simmer on low and add sugar and mix.
Stir to dissolve the sugar and add roasted cumin powder, cardamom powder and other spices next. You can take a few drops of the chutney in a spoon to cool and taste the sweetness. Add more sugar according to your taste.
Let the chutney simmer on low heat till it thickens. Add washed and drained raisins if you’re using them.
Once you are happy with the consistency of the the sauce let it cool. Transfer to a clean glass bottles and store in the fridge.
The chutney once refrigerated stays good for almost an year.
Drizzle this delicious sweet Imli Chutney cold on Chaat, Samosas, Dahi Bhallas or Cheelas and Enjoy!
More Chutney, Sauces and Dip recipes at Kitchenpostcards