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 containing the water.
Strain the pulp if you prefer and set 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 to 3 mins.
Add the jaggery and salt and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or more till the consistency thickens.
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.
Consistency: 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.
Quality: Use fresh ingredients. Do not use aged tamarind as the taste of the chutney will be different and the color will be very dark.
Scaling: This recipe can be doubled.
Gluten-free option: For a gluten-free sauce, skip asafoetida.
Storage: You can easily store tamarind chutney in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 months. You can even freeze it to last longer. Simply thaw before using.
Jaggery: If jaggery is not available then as an alternative option you can add sugar. The taste will be little different. You can add ½ cup of sugar or more if required.
Tamarind: You can use ½ cup tamarind paste or concentrate for the chutney. Depending on the tartness of the concentrate or paste, you will have to adjust the quantity of water and jaggery.
Dipping Sauce: Serve tamarind chutney as a side condiment dip with Indian fried snacks like pakoda, samosa, kachori, aloo tikki. n fact even with potato wedges or french fries, this chutney pairs fabulously.
Topping or mixing sauce: You can even use it as a topping sauce for chaat snacks like dahi vada, sev puri, pani puri, dahi puri, katori chaat, bhel puri or any chaat snack.