In addition to being delicious, dates are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. They are also high in fiber, which has many benefits for gut health and weight management.
This recipe for Date and Tamarind Chutney is an excellent accompaniment for any curry and goes especially well with Garbanzo Beans in Tomato-Yogurt Curry, the recipe for which can be found here.
Both recipes were sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She began sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has since become a company tradition.
“I watch cooking change the cook, just as it transforms the food.”
– Laura Esquivel
Date and Tamarind Chutney
Made in India, Meera Sodha (2015)
- 4 ounces dates, pitted and roughly chopped (Medjools are recommended)
- 2½ teaspoons tamarind paste (the tamarind tree produces brown pod-like fruits known as Indian dates that contain a sour-sweet pulp with a flavor akin to lemons, apricots, and dates. Tamarind paste is made by soaking the pulp in hot water and then draining it through a sieve to remove the fibers and seeds. It is available commercially at some large grocery stores, most Indian and Latin American grocery stores, and of course Amazon. You may need to add a bit more tamarind paste to this chutney to cut the sweetness of the dates)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of chile powder (the author tends to use Kashmiri chili powder, which has mild heat and a brick-red color. The cookbook, however, suggests that any red chile powder is fine)
- Using a food processor or blender, blend the ingredients with ½ cup cold water until the consistency of half and half.
The sweet-tart flavor of tamarind is key to good pad Thai and is one of the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce.