A generous swirl of date and tamarind chutney on my chaat, and I'm a happy camper. This sweet-tangy and slightly spicy chutney lends a great flavour and I cannot imagine chaat minus this.
Different restaurants have different tasting date-tamarind chutneys and street vendors seem to get it just perfect. This is my attempt at making this chutney -
3/4 cup pitted dates
2 to 3 tbsp jaggery
2 tbsp tamarind
1/2 tsp chilli powder
3/4 tsp cumin (jeera) powder
Salt to taste
The measures are approximate. Jaggery usually comes in blocks and it's a pain to try and fit it into a tablespoon, so just eyeball it. I used a large piece of tamarind, again approximately 2 tbsp, but you can increase or decrease it depending on how tangy you like the chutney.
Bring about 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Add dates, jaggery and tamarind. Boil for 10 to15 minutes, stirring a few times in between. Add chilli powder, cumin powder and salt. Allow to cool. Blend [You can add some water when blending if you want a runny chutney. I added about 1/2 cup water]. Strain if required.
Relish with samosas or pakodas, in combination with Mint Chutney.