Quick Sweet and Sour Chutney (Tamarind Chutney Substitute)

Need some Tamarind (Imli) Chutney in a jiffy and don’t have the time to make it or don’t have an Indian grocery store nearby? Not to worry! Try this amazingly quick substitute for Tamarind Chutney using Apple Butter. For those unfamiliar with Apple Butter, it is similar to apple sauce but has a richer flavor and smoother texture. For apple sauce, apples are cooked quickly and pureed. For apple butter, apples are slow cooked (sometimes for 8 to 10 hours) until caramelized. The longer cooking time plus added spices like cinnamon enhance the flavor and give apple butter a darker color. Try this super quick sweet and sour chutney recipe the next time you are in need for tamarind chutney!

Ingredients: (All ingredients to taste)

Apple Butter
Roasted Cumin Powder
Red Chili Powder
Lemon Juice


1. Pour Apple Butter into a mixing bowl.
2. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour chutney back into jar and store in the refrigerator.

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0 thoughts on “Quick Sweet and Sour Chutney (Tamarind Chutney Substitute)

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  5. Thanks for the great recipe and shortcut.
    I usually put black salt in tamarind chutney and I think it will add to the taste here too.

  6. Hi,

    My mother in law has been making this chutney for 30 years. She makes it slightly differently though and it taste better than any other sweet n sour chutney I had tried.

    She add grated ginger and does little oil tadka with jeera. Add all other ingredient’s you mentioned along with 2 tsps. of tamarind concentrate and boils it for 10 minutes. It helps in longer shelf life of the chutney.

    Thank you for all amazing recipes you guys put out there 🙂

  7. I just tried it out & it came out really good.I did not know there is anything like “Apple-Butter” but thanks to you both & “apple-butter” for satisfying my “khatta”cravings.. Indeed a very good substitute of Tamarind chutney 🙂
    Thanks again,I am a huge fan 🙂

  8. I use Tamarind paste insted of Lemon juice and tea spoon of Fennel powder….it tastes just like orignal chutney!

    1. Hi Desigirl,

      The shelf life should be approximately 4-6 months providing that the apple butter was not exposed to other contaminants like water. As always, you should always check to see if there are any signs of mold growing and discard it if there are. If you keep the lid clean and wipe away any apple butter sticking to the sides of the jar at the top, it will help.

  9. Because many of your our dishes are tart or sour (to me), are there any particular benefits or is this just cultural? I enjoy trying something new so i’ve modified the recipes a little to my taste. Thank you for showing the vegetables in its whole state and how to prepare it for cooking.

    1. Hi Shirleen,

      The tartness could be cultural (but it could just be us as well :)). We always try to say “to taste” when we deal with lemon/lime juice so you can definitely adjust it. As far as we know, there are no other benefits other than taste.

    1. Hi Honey joy,

      Yes, cranberry sauce is also another great substitution! Many restaurants and caterers use that trick. Thanks for mentioning it.

  10. thanks for the receipes…more than receipe i was interested to know the age when talking about 70’s…ahhhh enjoy ladies/girl

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