Spicy Tamarind Chutney ~ Andhra Special!

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When I think of raw tamarind, I get transported to my childhoods days, spent in eating those right off the tree! When I was about 8 years old, we lived in a smaller town. The house was surrounded by acres of empty place and there was a big compound enclosing it all. We had many trees like Tamarind, Mangoes and lots of other ones. During summer, when the tamarind tree is full with its yield, my friends used to climb the tree and shake it down. I used to be one standing below, eagerly waiting to pick the first one. And once we had our load, we all used to gather around and enjoy these tangy ones. Wow, that crispy raw Tamarind, it looks that light shade of green, when you bite it, its juice gushes out. That taste is something, that will forever linger on your taste buds! The seeds are then dried for a while and then thrown on coal and till now I have not tasted anything that good!

Tamarind is something we use in everyday dishes. And the specialty dishes like Pulihora, Fish Curry I have already posted. Of course, there is the Puli Kolambu that Amma’s signature dish, that I am yet to make. Somehow, hubby dear doesn’t prefer tangy dishes, so its not often I cook with only tamarind. I asked Amma and said, though I know I am yet to post the Puli Kolam, I wanted something entirely new! Immediately she said, she knows of this chutney that her father loved. My grandfather, during one of his posting in a remote village, had to stay there without the family. Now my grandfather was a serious person, and most people who come in contact with him, are always scared and very hesitant to even utter a word. So imagine he had to stay away from family and his food was to be taken care of by others. It so happened that his clerk used to make this Tamarind Chutney and for the entire period he stay away, he generally eat this and lived. On his return, he asked ammama to make this for him. So finally I got to taste what got my grandfather hooked!

One mouthful of this and you have different flavours hitting your senses. I mean it literally! We made it in the morning and had it along with steaming rice and ghee. I don’t think you need a separate passport to take you to heaven. This is enough! Hubby dear, who normally never much vocal on tangy things, said I should’ve made this while he was at home. That should convey how tasty this was.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Cuisine : Andhra
Serves – makes a regular cup
Shelf life – 3-4 days in room temperature

Ingredients Needed:

Tamarind – medium lemon size soaked.
Sambar Onions – 50 gms
Coriander Seeds / Dhaniya – 2 tsp
Cumin seeds / Jelakara – 1 tsp
Dry Red Chillie – 5 nos
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tsp


Mustard Seeds + Urad dal – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – few
Method to prepare:

Wash and soak tamarind in water for 10 mins. Meanwhile dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and chillies. Allow it to cool.

Peel and chop the onions to quarter size pieces. In a dry mixer jar, take the tamarind, the spices, chillies, about 4 onions pieces. Grind to a smooth paste using the tamarind soaked water.

Heat the oil in a pan, and temper with seasonings. Then sautรฉ the chopped onions till they are brown! Add turmeric and simmer for 2 mins.

Then add the ground paste and cook till the oil comes out. All it took was only 2 tsp of oil.

It takes about 10 mins to get cooked.

Store in a dry container for 3-4 days. Serve it with hot piping rice with a dollop of ghee.

I sent it as a side for rice and kootu, it was a different experience all together. This is a recipe for keeper for sure!

Sending this to Sig who is hosting the JFI themed on Tamarind. JFI is an event started by Indira of Mahanandi.

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Spicy Tamarind Chutney ~ Andhra Special!
Votes: 2
Rating: 3.5
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Cuisine Andhra Pradesh
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh
Votes: 2
Rating: 3.5
Rate this recipe!

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  1. hmmm..sri ur post reminded me of my childhood days…how i loved having those ripe tamarind right off the tree!!those were the good ol’ days;-)btw tam chutney looks yummy!!

  2. Chutney looks so yummy and delicious Valli.I still remember going to my grandpa’s Thottam with full of tamarind ,banana and mango trees.Lovely post.

  3. wow srivalli, ur writeup is so descriptive that i cud imagine the story ๐Ÿ™‚ … the tamarind chutney looks yummy .. will b yummy with rice and ghee ..

  4. Sounds good, and I love the taste of tamarind, but I’m never sure the size meant when described using “lemon size” which has made me shy away from a lot of recipes… I can’t imagine It’s the size of the lemons I see everyday, they are too big!!! I wish I could taste this, you made it sound too good ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. tamarind chutney looks so tangy n amazing!!
    I remember those wonderful childhood days where u try to throw stone at tamarind trees to get hold of these ripe ones!!
    gosh amazing days eh!!

  6. Ahh…!!! My cheeks are hurting now!:D

    Looks great, we call it Hunise Thokku, love it Sri. Good one. Sending this to RCI Andhra Festival food, could be side dish easily!:)

  7. You took me back to my chilidhood Srivalli… I still remember the taste of those raw tamarind with salt… We had a tamarind tree in our backyard, but the stolen ones tasted even better ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you so much for this delicious entry! BTW I got your entry, the confirmation might have landed in your junk mail I guess.

  8. Oh Yeah I remember all my moms and aunts having this, every year when the whole family would go to tirupati by road they would stop where ever t hey find a tamarind tree and collect them and have them on the way. I too never like the taste at all and would wonder

  9. I’d like to try this, because I’ve been on a chutney binge and this sounds amazing. But I have a few questions. First, what are sambar onions? Can I substitute regular large onions? And do you mean dried tamarind? We get the wet kind (in a packet) here.

  10. Thank you everybody for your lovely comments. I feel happy that you took time to appriciate.Sorry couldn’t respond individual.

    meeso, I can understand that. I shall take the picture of the lemon we get and the tamarind for you and send!

    Dee, I refer the Shallot or the small onions that we use for making sambar. In telugu, we call it the chinna errageddalu…You can replace, but the small onions have a slightly different taste. But you can try…and tamarind paste also will work out fine. We are anyway going to run this mixer right…so try it and let me know!

  11. Hello.mam; trird this chutney yesterdqy! My mother jst loved it ๐Ÿ™‚ ty for dis easy n tasty recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Chicku, are you asking if you can substitute the dried tamarind with paste?..if it is a commercial paste it might have other things added, you will need to check on that and adjust accordingly..

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