Tamarind Chutney

Here’s a sweet and sour, richly seasoned, “runny” chutney that pairs beautifully with any rice or curry meal. It enlivens roast pork tenderloin or a roast chicken meal. Simply spoon it out of the jar, or transfer to a medium bowl and swirl in a dollop of yogurt, cutting the sweetness and adding a layer of richness to this special Asian preserve.


  • 1 -1/4 lb (625 g) dried tamarind block
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) cumin seeds
  • 3 cups (750 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sultana raisins, rinsed
  • 4 tsp (20 ml) grated fresh ginger
  • 2- 1/2 tsp (12 ml) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) cayenne powder


  • In a medium bowl, break dried tamarind into chunks and soak in 4 cups (1 L) warm water for a minimum of 20 minutes. Squeeze and break up tamarind under the water with your fingers. Pour through a sieve into a non-metallic bowl, pressing tamarind with back of a spoon to extract all the liquid, remembering to scrape the bottom side of the sieve to remove pulp clinging to it. Measure 3 cups (750 ml) tamarind pulp.
  • Meanwhile, put cumin seeds in a dry frying pan and heat, on high, shaking seeds and roasting for about 2 minutes or until seeds are golden brown and begin to smoke. Transfer to small bowl and allow to cool. Grind in a coffee or spice mill.
  • Place 5 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, over medium heat, combine tamarind pulp, ground roasted cumin, sugar, raisins, ginger, salt, black pepper and cayenne; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Ladle chutney into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more chutney. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing discs on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining chutney.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 15 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.