Tamarind Indian Rice – A Traditional South-Indian Recipe


Indian cuisine is full of exciting and unique flavors. India is home to almost every imaginable spice, and Indians use them in many different dishes. One of the most popular and delicious Indian dishes is Tamarind Indian.

Tamarind, or the tamarind tree, has been used in Indian cuisine for centuries. The sweet and sour flavor of tamarind adds a special touch to many dishes, including this one.

Tamarind Indian food is more a condiment than a full meal. To help you prepare a fabulous Indian feast, there is a simple rice dish you can take to another level by adding tamarind sauce. Keep reading to learn about India’s rich history of tamarind and all three delightful recipes.

What Is Tamarind Indian?

Tamarind Indian, known as tamarind chutney, is a condiment made from tamarind pulp, cranberries, and spices. It can be used as a dip or spread on sandwiches and wraps or served alongside different meats and vegetables.

The tamarind tree is native to Africa but has been grown in India for centuries. In Indian cuisine, tamarind is used in many dishes and condiments, including chutneys and sauces—the tartness of the tamarind pairs well with the sweetness of cranberries in this dish.

tamarind indian


In addition to tamarind and cranberries, common spices in Tamarind India include cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Garam masala is a blend of spices commonly used in Indian cuisine, including cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.

The combination of flavors in tamarind chutney creates a sweet and tangy sauce that pairs well with many dishes. It adds depth to any meal, and you can make it at home with the recipe below.

Indian cooking has used tamarind for centuries. It was likely introduced to the country by Arab traders in the 11th century. The tamarind tree slowly spread throughout India and became a staple ingredient in many regional cuisines.

In southern India, cooks use tamarind in sambars, a lentil soup or stew commonly served with rice. In northern India, chefs use tamarind in chutneys and sauces. Bengali cuisine uses tamarind as a garnish for fish dishes to add a touch of sourness.

Tamarind Indian recipe as we know it today originated in the 20th century with the spread of Indian food outside the country. It has become a popular condiment in Indian restaurants and Western cuisine, with tamarind chutney, often served alongside samosas and curry.

Tamarind Indian Cuisine, Cranberry, PA

This recipe is similar to the delicious one you can find on the Tamarind India Cuisine, Cranberry Township menu, where you can find the best Indian food Cranberry has to offer. Not only is it the best chicken Cranberry, PA offers, but the Tamarind menu (township menu) includes many other high-quality Indian dishes sure to please.

tamarind indian

Tamarind Indian Rice - A Traditional South-Indian Recipe

Tamarind Indian, known as tamarind chutney, is a condiment made from tamarind pulp, cranberries, and spices. It can be used as a dip or spread on sandwiches and wraps or served alongside different meats and vegetables.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Cooked rice, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 90 kcal


Tamarind Chutney:

  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Tamarind concentrate (or you can use 1 cup of fresh tamarind)
  • 1 cup Cane sugar
  • ½ cups Fresh cranberries
  • ½ teaspoons Cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoons Ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoons Garam masala
  • ½ teaspoons Fennel powder
  • Salt and pepper


  • 3 cups Basmati rice
  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dry coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Chili flakes
  • Dry roasted peanuts


For the tamarind chutney:

  • In a medium sauce pot, heat the water over medium-high heat until it comes to a rolling boil.
  • Add in the tamarind or tamarind concentrate and stir vigorously.
  • Once the tamarind is fully incorporated, add in the cane sugar salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, ginger, garam masala, fennel powder and cranberries. Cook the mixture until the sugar dissolves, and the cranberries begin to break down.
  • Once the cranberries begin to break down, reduce the heat to low and let the sauce thicken. This process should take around 20 minutes. Keep stirring at regular intervals.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, remove the chutney from the stove and let it cool. You can use it immediately or store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.

For the rice:

  • Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Set it aside to drain.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and add the coriander and chili flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add in the drained basmati rice and cook for 2-3 minutes until the rice is slightly toasted.
  • Add 4.5 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  • Serve the rice with a scoop of tamarind chutney and some dry roasted peanuts on top for added texture and crunch. Enjoy!
Keyword tamarind indian, tamarind rice

Tips & Tricks for Tamarind Indian Rice

You can find many of these ingredients in East Asian or Indian supermarkets or specialty grocery stores.

If you find jaggery or cane sugar, you can replace it with brown sugar.

This tamarind sauce goes well on everything. Traditionally, you can eat it with vegetable samosas or chicken tikka, but it also goes well with grilled meats or as a dipping sauce for fries or fried tofu.

You can freeze the tamarind chutney for up to six months. To reheat it, thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.

Tamarind concentrate works in a pinch, but fresh tamarind produces a much more delicious product.

Nutrition Information of Tamarind Indian Rice

tamarind indian


One serving of tamarind chutney (1/4 cup) has approximately:

– 90 calories

– 0.5g fat

– 23g carbohydrates

– 1g protein

Tamarind is high in antioxidants and vitamin C and can aid with digestion. Enjoy this sweet and tangy condiment in moderation.

One serving of the basmati rice (1 and 1/2 cups) with the tamarind chutney (1/4 cup) has approximately:

– 370 calories

– 10g fat

– 68g carbohydrates

– 5g protein

This dish is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, and you can enjoy it as part of a balanced diet


Making tamarind Indian at home saves money and allows you to control and customize the ingredients to your taste preferences. While store-bought versions may be convenient, nothing beats the homemade version with fresh ingredients. Give this recipe a try, and let us know what you think!

What is your favorite thing to eat with tamarind chutney? Let us know in the comments below.

Join the Conversation

  1. This dish is absolutely delicious! I have used many recipes from this website and all have been impressive

  2. The Boopster says:

    As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it and so glad I did! My whole family loved this meal.

  3. Both economical and easy to make. Thanks for posting.

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