imli ki 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. 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.

imli ki chutney is often used in north indian chaat snacks like dahi papdi chaat, dahi bhalle, dahi vada, samosa chaat. its also served with samosa, kachori, pani puri and pakoras. 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 -> tamarind chutney recipe.

you can store this imli ki meethi chutney in an air-tight bottle in the fridge and it lasts good 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.

if you are looking for more chutney recipes then do check:

sweet chutney or imli chutney recipe below:

saunth chutney recipe
4.93 from 14 votes

imli chutney recipe | sweet tamarind chutney recipe

imli ki meethi chutney recipe - sweet and tangy chutney made with tamarind, jaggery and ginger powder. it is also known as saunth chutney.

course side dish
cuisine north indian
prep time 4 hours
cook time 12 minutes
total time 4 hours 12 minutes
servings 1 small bowl
calories per serving 560 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

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

how to make recipe?

preparing tamarind pulp for chutney:

  1. soak tamarind in water overnight or for 4 to 5 hours in a small bowl or pan.

  2. with your hands, squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the same bowl or pan.

  3. strain the pulp and keep aside.

making imli chutney recipe:

  1. heat oil in a small pan.
  2. lower the flame & add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  3. add ginger powder, red chili powder, asafoetida.
  4. stir and add the strained tamarind pulp. cook for 2-3 mins.
  5. add the jaggery and salt and cook for 4-5 minutes more.

  6. the mixture would thicken. let the imli chutney mixture cool.

  7. when cooled, store the imli chutney in an air-tight dry jar or container. refrigerate and serve the imli ki chutney whenever required with chaat or snacks.

recipe notes

tips for making imli chutney recipe:

  1. you can have the consistency of the sweet 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. the chutney recipe can be doubled.

how to make sweet chutney or imli ki chutney recipe:

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

soak tamarind for sauth chutney

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

squeeze tamarind

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

add spices for sauth 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.

preparing saunth chutney

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

tamarind saunth chutney

43 thoughts on “imli chutney recipe | sweet chutney recipe | imli ki chutney recipe for chaat”

  1. Atourina Charles

    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!

    1. 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.


    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?

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  4. 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. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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…….

    1. 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.

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

  9. 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!

    1. 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.

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

  11. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  12. 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 🙂

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