IMLI CHATNI (sweet and spicy tamarind sauce with figs and almonds, about 4 cups)
3 cups tamarind juice (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dried ginger powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup chopped dried figs, preferably black California figs
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
- Combine all the ingredients except the figs, almonds and cumin seeds in a 2-1/2 quart microwave-safe casserole and cover with the lid. Cook at 100% power in a 650 to 700 watt carousel oven for 4 minutes (or until spices lose their uncooked aroma). Remove from oven.
- Uncover, add all the other ingredients, stir well, and replace cover. When cool, pour sauce into sterilized jars and refrigerate. Let sauce ripen for 4 hours before serving.
- The sauce keeps well, stored in a covered container, for up to 12 weeks in the refrigerator and a year in the freezer.
from Julie Sahni, The Moghul Microwave
TAMARIND JUICE (3 cups or 24 – 2 tablespoons each – frozen cubes)
4 ounces (half of an 8 ounce pliable slab) tamarind pulp
about 3-1/4 cups water
- Tear tamarind into 3 to 4 pieces and place in a 1-1/2 quart microwave safe casserole. Add 2 cups water and cover with the lid. Cook at 100 percent power in a 650- to 700- watt carousel for 5 minutes (or until water is boiling). Remove from oven.
- Let tamarind stand, covered, for an hour. Uncover and mash the pulp with your fingers or use a spoon. Strain the juices through a sieve into another bowl, squeezing as much juice out of the pulp as possible. Return the pulp to the casserole and add ¾ cup water. Mash pulp and strain again. Repeat the process until you have 3 cups tamarind liquid. Discard the fibrous residue.
- To freeze, pour the tamarind juice into standard (16 cubes per tray) ice trays and freeze. When frozen (about 4 hours), transfer cubes to plastic bags and store.
from Julie Sahni, Moghul Microwave