Tamarind (Imli) Chutney

Happy Ramadan to you all! May this month be full of blessings, happiness, and peace for you and your family.

As soon as the holy month of Ramadan begins, I march towards the kitchen with all my cooking books in hand, ready to take on the kitchen by storm.

The first that I do make is this iridescent chutney.

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies. Be it samosas, chaats, or just plain fries; this chutney goes with everything.

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

 

It’s quick, easy and unbelievably yummy! No Ramadan is complete without this accompanying pakoras in my household.

It’s a Shireen Anwer recipe that I swear by. I first made it six years ago, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made it again since then.

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

 

It takes literally 10 minutes to make (not including the tamarind pulp part), and makes enough to last the whole of Ramadan.

Pop it into a jar and keep stored in a refrigerator.  Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

Tamarind (Imli) Chutney

Yields 1 ½ cup
Ingredients:
250g tamarind
1 cup boiling water
½ cup shukr *brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
Directions:
For the Tamarind Pulp: Soak the tamarind seeds in the boiling water for over an hour. When cool to touch, squeeze the pulp and the juice out. Throw away the tamarind seeds.
You can now sieve the remaining tamarind pulp or carry on without sieving, it’s optional.
For the Chutney: Blend together the prepared tamarind pulp, brown sugar, red chili powder, cumin powder, salt, and garlic. Blend till smooth.
Then transfer to a pan, and cook on a low heat for just a minute till it comes to gentle boil.
Cool, and store in airtight jar in the refrigerator for upto a month.
Notes:
Shukr is the raw unprocessed form of sugar. It can be substituted with brown sugar or even plain white sugar. Or even dates.

 

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

Chicken Roll Parathas

When your parents are off to a wedding and leave you in charge of dinner, what do you do? You make roll parathas! And go a bit overboard and make three types of chutneys too. And salad.
Hot parathas filled with succulent pieces of chicken and loads of yummy chutney are to die for!
Roll parathas are a popular street food here in Pakistan. My favorite is the one from TRP (Taimoori Roll Paratha) in Islamabad. Their hot parathas filled with succulent pieces of chicken tikka and loads of yummy chutney are to die for!

Hot parathas filled with succulent pieces of chicken and loads of yummy chutney are to die for!

That fateful day, I craved a roll paratha with all my being but was too lazy to go out. So, I made my own roll parathas, and they turned out…wait for it…even better than TRP (if I do say so myself)! These parathas are fresh, tangy and super filling; a complete balanced meal all in one wrap. Save yourself some time and money, and try this homemade version of roll parathas, and quell those cravings!

Hot parathas filled with succulent pieces of chicken and loads of yummy chutney are to die for!

These enticingly tangy roll parathas take only a few minutes to prepare, provided you have all the prep done beforehand. I have used store-bought frozen parathas here, which makes the whole ordeal even quicker. You could go ahead and make your own parathas with flour, salt, warm water, and clarified butter (aka ghee). I always opt for MonSalwa when it comes to parathas. They are somewhat reasonably priced and are super flaky and taste amazing.
Marinate the boneless chicken pieces in all of the spices and little bit of salt and leave it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. You can even marinate it the night before and just fry it or grill it the next day. I smoked the chicken in the end, which is totally optional, but I do recommend it. The burning coal leaves the most exquisite BBQ flavor in your chicken, and leaves your kitchen smelling like a real roadside BBQ joint.

Hot parathas filled with succulent pieces of chicken and loads of yummy chutney are to die for!

The condiments are all up to you. You can put any sort of chutney in, however much you like. I used tamarind and alu bukharay ki chutney, both of which I usually always have on hand. I fill up jars of the chutneys and freeze them for future roll parathas emergencies. I also made a fresh mint yogurt raita to accompany the roll parathas. It’s just yogurt, pinch of freshly ground black pepper, ground coriander, salt and chopped up mint leaves.

If you want, I can put up a detailed post on the chutneys next. Just let me know in the comments box below.

Hot parathas filled with succulent pieces of chicken and loads of yummy chutney are to die for!
Grill the parathas till golden brown. Top each one with some fresh salad leaves, pickled onion, and cucumber. Then pile on the juicy bits of chicken, along with drizzles of chutneys. Top it off with some fresh coriander leaves, and squeezes of lemon or lime juice. Wrap it all up in a piece of parchment paper for the authentic TRP style or just prick in some toothpicks to help hold the entire thing. And tada! There you have it….homemade roll parathas ready in a jiffy. Now clear away all the mess before parents return home o.o

Hot parathas filled with succulent pieces of chicken and loads of yummy chutney are to die for!

Chicken Roll Parathas

Yields: 8 parathas
Ingredients
8 frozen roll parathas, store-bought or homemade
Filling
400g boneless chicken, cut in cubes
1 teaspoon red chili powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon allspice or garam masala powder
1 tsp salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 Tablespoon plain yogurt, heaped
2 Tablespoon oil
Extras (see Notes below)1
Tamarind chutney (imli ki chutney)
Plum chutney (alu bokharay ki chutney)
Mint yogurt raita
Onion2
Cucumber, sliced
Salad leaves, sliced
Directions:
Marinate the chicken in all of the filling ingredients mentioned above except the oil, for at least half an hour or overnight. Pan-fry the marinated chicken in 2 Tablespoon of oil, till it is tender and juicy. Give it the smoke of coal.3 Set aside.
Heat a griddle and drizzle some oil. Fry the parathas on low-medium heat till golden brown on both sides.
To assemble the parathas, take a prepared parathas, place nits of chicken in the middle, top with onion rings, cucumber, the salad leaves. Drizzle chutney and raita. Squeeze some lemon juice. Roll tightly, and keep it in place with toothpicks.
Serve hot alongside some mango slices.
Notes
1.       These are my preferred choice of fillings. You can omit or substitute with anything you like; tomatoes, mint leaves, green onion, mango relish, lettuce…
2.      Slice the onion thinly in the form of rings. Squeeze some lemon juice, and toss well.
3.      For the smoke: put the burning coal on a piece of bread on top of the chicken. Drizzle with oil and immediately cover the pan.