Tangy, Sweet, Spicy, Seasoned Tamarind Sauce (Chinchamba Koot)

Tangy, Sweet, Spicy, Seasoned Tamarind Sauce (Chinchamba Koot)

Chinchamba koot is a tangy, spicy, sweet side dish. A simple yet flavourful seasoning to a sweet, sour tamarind sauce makes wonders. Chinchamba koot is served as a side dish for lunch but I just sit with a bowl of this relish licking my fingers or my spoon. :-) It's finger licking good. And a real treat to your taste buds.

There are three ways I enjoy this tamarind relish:

  1. Sit with a bowl of chinchamba koot and enjoy it with a spoon. :-)
  2. Mix rice with this tamarind side dish and enjoy.
  3. Mix puffed rice with this tamarind relish, finely chopped onions, sev and enjoy an instant sev puri.

Chinchamb in Konkani means tamarind and koot in Konkani refers to a medium thick, spicy gravy, prepared with or without coconut and which is then seasoned with asafoetida, mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Chinchamba koot is usually prepared with tamarind that's just been dried. When tamarind pods dry up, it is peeled and sold in markets. With those just dried tamarinds, this side dish is usually prepared. Just dried tamarinds are light reddish brown in colour, compared to the black tamarind we usually see in markets. As the tamarind ages it turns from reddish brown to black. Nevertheless you can also prepare this koot with the black tamarind too, that's the aged dried tamarind you commonly find in markets, if you can't find the freshly dried tamarinds.

Stages of dried tamarind:

The outer shell is peeled and the freshly dried tamarind is reddish-brown in colour. Note as the tamarind ages, it's colour changes and it gets darker in colour with time on storing. The usual dark, black coloured tamarind that we get in market is on the right hand side.


  • 1/2 cup tamarind
  • 2-3 tablespoons of powdered jaggery depending on how sweet you like it.
  • Salt to taste

For seasoning:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1-2 finely chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 an inch finely chopped ginger
  • 1 dried red chilli 
  • 2 leaflets of curry leaves
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 20-25 minutes

Preparation Method:

  1. Deseed the tamarind and soak it in water for an hour. If the tamarind’s very dry then soak it for an extra hour.
  2. After the tamarind gets soaked, grind it with jaggery, 3/4 cup of water to form a nice, thick paste of tamarind.
  3. Transfer the thick tamarind pulp into a bowl. Add in salt, little water if required. Chinchamba koot is usually medium thick in consistency. So, be careful not to add excess water.


  1. Heat oil in a tempering pan, add in mustard seeds. 
  2. When they start popping add in finely chopped ginger and finely chopped green chilli and let them fry for a minute. 
  3. Add in dried red chilli broken into pieces and fry them for 30 seconds.
  4. Add in curry leaves and let them splutter.
  5. Add in a pinch of asafoetida powder and let it sizzle.
  6. Remove off heat, add this seasoning to the tamarind paste in the bowl and mix well. 

Serving suggestions:

  1. Serve chinchamba koot with rice, mix well and enjoy.
  2. Serve chinchamba koot as a side dish for lunch.
  3. Serve sev puri by mixing puffed rice, this tamarind relish, finely chopped onions, sev and enjoy an instant sev puri.
  4. Enjoy chinchamba koot as-is just like I do.

Side Note:

  1. If your chinchamba koot is not spicy enough then smash the red chilli from the seasoning nicely in the koot. 
  2. Adjust the sweetness, spiciness you add according to your palate.

Find more Konkani cuisine side dishes here

Tags: spicy, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, vegetarian, sides, tangy, sour, tamarind, lunch, dinner, koot