Thanks to the lockdown we’ve been doing bhel quite frequently. It’s not just because we love chaat, it’s because it’s convenient.
The date and tamarind chutney concentrate is always stocked in the freezer and taken out in bits for consumption on need basis. It stores rather well, I’d say a couple months easily.
• Seedless dates
Keep the date to tamarind ratio at 3:1 or even 4:1 depending on how tangy you’d like it. We like ours sweeter than sour.
• Dried ginger powder
• Saunf (Fennel seeds)
• Sugar or Jaggery (if you’d like it sweeter), the sugar acts as a preservative, hence I always add sugar in spite of the dates.
• Cinnamon powder
• Cumin powder
• Salt just a pinch
• A hint of Kashmiri laal mirch powder
• Soak the dates and tamarind in a little water (don’t submerge fully) and add all the masalas
• Pressure cook for about 8-10 whistles (adjust according to your cookers, mine’s ancient and takes forever)
• Once done cool down and grind without adding water (if adding water, boil once again).
• Cool down, pack off in a container and store in the freezer.
Plz note: The concentrate freezes like a sorbeto and doesn’t crystallise rock solid.
• Scoop out the required quantity in a separate container and dilute in desired amount of water.
• One can make a mix of a thick consistency for papdi chaat or dahi puri and a thinner consistency for bhel.
I make a batch which will last me two months easily.