Date & tamarind sauce (sonth)

Serve this tangy date and tamarind sauce with everything from samosas and pakoras to crunchy street snacks and salads

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:25 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 236
  • fat 0.4g
  • saturates 0.1g
  • carbs 55g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 2g
  • salt 0.08g


  • 150g wet tamarind, preferably seedless
  • 125g pitted dates
  • 175g jaggery, date palm sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


Tamarind is normally sold in dried blocks or semi-dried ones (known as wet tamarind). Both will be fine for this recipe, although wet, seedless tamarind cooks quicker than dried and is easier to push through a sieve. You can buy the blocks from larger supermarkets and South and South East Asian grocers.


  1. Break up the tamarind and dates and put them in a pan with the jaggery and enough water to cover them, about 500ml. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 mins or until the tamarind is really soft.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and push the pulp through a sieve to remove any fibres. The sauce should be a coating consistency – add a little water if it is too thick.

  3. Stir in the ginger powder, garam masala and ground cumin. The sauce should taste sweet and tart – stir in a little more jaggery if it doesn’t taste sweet enough. Chill before serving. Will keep in the fridge for three to four days.

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