imli chutney | tamarind chutney

Imli chutney recipe with step by step photos – sharing a home recipe of a Tamarind chutney also known as saunth chutney or sonth chutney or imli ki meethi chutney in north India. Low fat and vegan.

This sweet tamarind chutney is spiced with dry ginger powder. Dry ginger or dry ginger powder is also called as Saunth or Sooth in hindi. hence the name of this chutney.

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tamarind chutney, imli chutney, imli ki chutney

Imli ki chutney is often used in North Indian chaat snacks like dahi bhalle, dahi vada, samosa chaat. Its also served with samosa, kachori, pani puri and pakora.

The imli chutney is slightly thick with a smooth texture. It has the sourness of tamarind balanced with the sweetness of the jaggery and the earthiness and mild hotness coming from the dry ginger powder, cumin and red chili powder.

There is another variation of saunth made with amchur-dry mango powder. I have never tried making this variation.

At home we make saunth chutney with tamarind this way. I also make another variation of tamarind chutney with dates. You can check the recipe here -> Sweet chutney recipe.

You can store this imli ki meethi chutney in an air-tight bottle in the fridge and it lasts well for 4-5 months. Here I have used dried tamarind. You can also make saunth with tamarind paste or concentrate. Depending on the tartness of the concentrate or paste, you will have to adjust the quantity of water and jaggery.

How to make tamarind chutney

1: soak the tamarind in water, overnight or for 4-5 hours.

soaked tamarind for tamarind chutney

2: with your hands, squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the same bowl or pan. strain the pulp and keep aside.

squeezed tamarind pulp

3: heat oil in small pan. Fry the cumin first. Then add the spice powders – dry ginger powder, red chili powder

add spices for making imli chutney

4: stir and then add the strained tamarind pulp. cook for 2-3 mins.

strained tamarind pulp

5: add the jaggery and salt and cook for 4-5 minutes more till the imli chutney mixture thickens a bit.

making imli chutney

6: when cooled, Store the imli chutney in an air-tight dry jar or container. Refrigerate and serve whenever required.

tamarind chutney, imli chutney
More Chutney recipes

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Tamarind Chutney

4.93 from 27 votes
Imli ki meethi chutney is a sweet and tangy chutney made with tamarind, jaggery and ginger powder. It is also known as saunth chutney.
imli chutney recipe, sweet chutney recipe, sweet tamarind chutney recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:4 hrs
Cook Time:12 mins
Total Time:4 hrs 12 mins
Course:side dish
Cuisine:north indian
Servings (change the number to scale):1 small bowl
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


  • ½ cup seedless tamarind, tightly packed (imli)
  • 1.75 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon saunth powder (ginger powder)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 7 to 8 tablespoon jaggery or as required - adjust as per your taste
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • rock salt (sendha namak) or black salt as required


preparing tamarind pulp for chutney

  • Soak tamarind in water overnight or for 4 to 5 hours in a small bowl or pan.
  • With your hands, squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the same bowl or pan.
  • Strain the pulp and keep aside.

making imli chutney

  • Heat oil in a small pan.
  • Lower the flame & add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Add ginger powder, red chili powder, asafoetida.
  • Stir and add the strained tamarind pulp. Cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Add the jaggery and salt and cook for 4-5 minutes more.
  • The mixture would thicken. Let the imli chutney mixture cool.
  • When cooled, store the imli chutney in an air-tight dry jar or container. Refrigerate and serve whenever required with chaat or snacks.


  1. You can have the consistency of the chutney as per your choice. Simply alter the amount of water and make the imli chutney slightly thin or thick as per your requirements.
  2. If jaggery is not available then as an alternative option you can add sugar. The taste will be little different. The amount of sugar depends upon sweetness of sugar and the sourness of tamarind. So add the sugar as per requirement.
  3. This recipe can be doubled.

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Tamarind Chutney
Amount Per Serving
Calories 560 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Sodium 2374mg103%
Potassium 376mg11%
Carbohydrates 128g43%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 123g137%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 3.5mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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52 comments/reviews

  1. Can I put shakar in imli chatni

    • yes, you can use sugar (shakar).

  2. Dassana ji.. I don’t have saunth or ginger powder. Can u please help tell how to make ginger powder and also substitute for this.

    • rupal, ginger powder is made with dried ginger. you can make at home but you need a really good mixer-grinder and dried ginger is difficult to grind. substitute for dried ginger in any recipe is fresh ginger. so in this imli chutney recipe, you can add 1 inch ginger. make a paste of it in a mortar-pestle or grate it and then after cumin seeds crackle, add the ginger paste. saute for a few seconds till the raw aroma of ginger goes away. then add red chilli powder, asafoetida. stir and add tamarind pulp. cook on a low flame so that the spice powders do not get burnt.

  3. Thank you for your lovely recipes. My son loves the snacks I’ve made using your recipes.

    I already have homemade tamarind paste. Can I use that for the chutney? If yes, how much of it should i use?

    • welcome and thanks for the feedback vaishnavi. yes, of course, you can use homemade tamarind paste. you can use half a cup of tamarind paste. in case you find the sourness less in chutney, you can add some more of the tamarind paste and cook further. later jaggery can be adjusted accordingly. hope this helps.

  4. Dear Dassana,
    Your receipies are very easy to follow, esp with the pictures and the dishes once cooked, tastes superb. I donot know cooking and I rely completely on your website to cook my daily meals.I fall short of words to thank you and God. Now you are an integral part of my existence…lol5 stars

    • thanks a lot anjana for this touching comment. felt so good to read it and i feel humbled too. thanks again and hugs.

  5. What a great way to show recipes in pics, step by step!
    May your blog flourish!5 stars

    • Thanks Priya for your best wishes.

  6. Hi! Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to try it today, I have my tamarind soaking now. I do have one question: the part that say to squeeze the pulp from the tamarind, am I discarding any part of the tamarind soaking mixture? Is the goal to put the 1/2cup tamarind and 1/2 water that is was soaking in through a strainer then discard the stuff that wasn’t able to go through the strainer? Thank you!

    • welcome atourina. the tamarind will soften after soaking in water. so the pulp has to be squeezed in the palms and added directly in the water in which the tamarind was getting soaked. you just keep on squeezing till you the tamarind can no longer yield any pulp. then this squeezed tamarind flesh and fibres are discarded. hope this explanation helps.

    • Yes????????????????????????????????

  7. Easy to make and can be used in all purpose of snacks5 stars

    • Thanks Sashwati for giving 5 star rating.

  8. Excellent chutney …loved it !????????5 stars

    • Thanks Rachna

  9. I loved this chutney…i specially make it for dahi wada and samosa….i always make fresh and use it…. can i store it for some more days? Like 10 or 15 days?5 stars

    • of course you can. it stays good for about a month. i usually prepare a batch of tamarind and dates chutney and keep it refrigerated. whenever i make chaat or pakoras or any snacks, the tamarind dates chutney comes in handy.

  10. Hello,
    Is there any substitute for jaggery(gur) as i live in Europe and here i have never seen it in any supermarket

    • john, you can use sugar if jaggery is not available. you can also use molasses instead of jaggery. but just keep a check on the sweet taste as with molasses the chutney can end up becoming more sweet. if you use sugar, then you can use the same amount as mentioned in the recipe for jaggery.

  11. Hii dassana..i love your all receipes

    • thank you for your positive views barsa 🙂

  12. This chutney is good for chats and turned out well… however, there is another chutney that is made with fresh ginger and jaggery I guess.. it has a spicy and sweet taste… it is called as allam chutney here.. it is generally served with idli and dosa in south indian restaurants…. could you please post the recipe for that if possible…5 stars

    • thankyou neha have taken your request down for allam chutney recipe on our file 🙂

  13. i love your recipes ..veg recipes of India is the best site for Indian recipes …this recipe is awesome …trying it today …you post your recipes very well easy to understand and good for beginners too… well done dassana 🙂

    • thankyou so much tanu for your kind and positive words 🙂 pleased to know our food blog could help you.

  14. This is a great recipe. I may play around with the spicing a little next time (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves) to better suit my tastes but this was delicious!5 stars

    • thankyou nigel glad to know you liked the saunth chutney. next time you could be more playful in spices 🙂

  15. Oh yes…what a chutney this is and it has become a staple must have at all times, do not ever run out kind of thing for my fridge. Dassana, now that it is made I wonder can I use it as a cheat in the recipes that call for the addition of tamarind? I’m thinking throw a spoon or two of this in tiffin sambar for example instead of going through soaking tamarind, straining and what not?
    My wife is a Vada monster and I use it to great affect in dahi Vada, as well as with pakodas, with samosas, with dhokla, with…….

    • thanks rohit. this is an all purpose chutney. i usually a make a good batch and keep in the fridge and it accompanies all the indian snacks so well. regarding adding in tiffin sambar, you will have to use it very judicially and carefully, so that the jaggery content in the chutney does not offset the balance in the sambar. try it and i feel it should work.

  16. Love all your recipes. I’m a frequent visitor of your blog. The food recipes and the pics are simply awesome. Thank you! 🙂5 stars

    • welcome ameena. glad to know this.

  17. it came out perfect thnk u sooo much!!!;-]5 stars

    • thanks riya.

  18. I’ve made this twice. The second time I was in a hurry and I pulled the tamarind into pieces and soaked it in very hot water for under an hour. It squeezed out perfectly.

    Also, I used fresh ginger instead of dried and cooked it with the jeera seed. Then mashed them both with a mortar and pestle with a bit of black salt before adding back to pan and then following the recipe exactly. It came out perfect! (I needed help at Indian grocery since no product had the words “jaggery” on the label. At my stored it is shown as “Punjabi sakkar” )

    Thank you so much for the simple and delicious recipe!5 stars

    • thanks lisa for the feedback. like you have done, tamarind when soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, squeezes out very well. usually dry ginger is used. but even fresh ginger can be substituted. punjabi shakkar is ground jaggery.

  19. Hi..

    Can I use readymade tamarind paste for making this chutney?

    • yes you can. you just need to alter the other ingredients to suit the consistency and taste of the ready made tamarind paste.

  20. wow itz my fav and thatz wat i was looking for …. it seems yummiiiiii ……. going to try soon…. 🙂5 stars

    • thanks geethanjali

  21. Vary easy & tasty recipe4 stars

    • thanks varsha

  22. Hi! Tried ur recipe today and it turned out awesome!! My husband loved it!!! Thank u!!!!!

    • welcome sonal

  23. Hi, the recipe looks soo good and pics remind me of home with the panipuris in the background!. I have a question.. Can I use sugar instead of jaggery as I dont think I will be able to jaggery in Sydney anywhere. Also, if I can use sugar then how much.. Thanks, for the recipe my mouth is salivating wih the idea of chaat 🙂

    • thanks neha for appreciating the chutney recipe. yes, you can sugar instead of jaggery. but taste will be little different. amount of sugar depends upon sweetness of sugar and also on sourness of tamarind. so you can taste and add the sugar as required.

  24. Nice…

  25. Will try.

  26. This is a must have in my kitchen whenever I plan to make chaat or bhel, I add sugar in place to Jaggery even though I know jaggery is healthy still I am unable to convince the taste buds of my picky family 🙂

  27. I love this chutney a lot, its so tasty and flavorful cant think of chaat without thi so ne nicely made dear.

    • thanks janani