This is a sweet Indian chutney recipe which combines herbs and spices with tamarind paste and sugar.
DO NOT heat your oil over medium- go a little lower. I can't describe exactly what happened when the spices hit the oil, but I can tell you that it felt like my lungs had collapsed. My kids literally ran screaming from the kitchen and I finished cooking with a dish towel over my nose and mouth. I really think the heat is too high on this because I made something similar later on at a lower temp and didn't have anything like this happen. I'm still giving this four stars though because this is the best tamarind chutney I've ever tasted. If you don't have access to tamarind paste (I'm talking to you, my fellow rural Iowans!) then you can make a delicious substitute using 1 tablespoon each of dried, chopped apricots, dates and prunes. Pour boiling water on them and let them soak for fifteen minutes and then drain and puree them with one tablespoon lemon juice. - 31 Dec 2009 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
Delicious! I substituted onion powder for the asafoetida, and everyone still thought it was as tasty as any they'd had in a restaurant. - 09 Feb 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
Wow, this was the best tamarind chutney ever!! Though not as easy as cilantro chutney, it's well worth it. I used olive oil instead of canola (it's what I had), and I made sure to heat the spices in the oil for long enough to really smell all of those spices. If you add the water too soon, you'll lose some of the flavor. I used onion powder in place of the asofe...(spice I can't even spell). Like some of the other reviews mentioned, I couldn't get the sauce thick enough without a little cornstarch. I actually simmered it for about an hour to reduce it, but still ended up adding a little cornstarch (teaspoon dissolved in hot water?), which made it a perfect consistency. Seriously, you can't buy stuff this good. - 17 Oct 2007 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)