This tamarind, fig, and cumin chutney from cookbook author Priya Krishna's new book Indian-ish is the Indian equivalent of sweet-and-sour sauce. 

"Tamarind chutney is a perfect partner to most fried things," Priya says. "Adding a heaping spoon of fig jam and some freshly toasted cumin takes all of those amazing qualities of tamarind chutney and cranks them up—the sauce is tangier, sweeter, more lip-smacking. Drizzle it on a stir-fry, brush it on a pork loin, roll it up in a roti with some grains and pickled onions, bathe in it!"

Pro Tip: Priya says to use freshly ground coriander seed, because it’s the best! 

For more Indian-ish recipes, check out:
Garlic-Ginger Chicken with Cilantro and Mint
Cilantro Chutney
Beet and Avocado Kachumber Salad

Adapted from Indian-ish by Priya Krishna. Copyright © 2019 by Priya Krishna. Used with permission by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup tamarind sauce (about half a 15-ounce bottle), or ½ cup tamarind concentrate
  • 2 heaping tablespoons fig jam
  • ½ tablespoon red chile powder


Serves: 1 ½ cups


In a small saucepan over low heat, toast the cumin until it turns a shade darker, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside in a small bowl and wipe out the pan.

In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together the tamarind sauce and ¼ cup water (if using tamarind concentrate, up this to 6 tablespoons water) until fully integrated, then stir in the fig jam. When the sauce starts to bubble, stir in the red chile powder and toasted cumin and remove from the heat. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

This chutney keeps, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 weeks.