My Recipe Development Philosophy

Yes, I do develop recipes from scratch for my blog and my cooking classes and have also done it for my cookbook but every once in a while, I remind myself to focus on the end product and use ready-to-use ingredients like pie crusts or puff pastry sheets for the recipe that I am working on. I want my recipes to be simple, quick, easy and fun for people who want to try them out. However, if I made every component of each recipe from scratch, the resulting recipe will be long, time consuming, overwhelming and also discouraging for people to give it a try. So with the ultimate goal in my mind, I sometimes include store-bought shortcuts in my recipes. After all my favorite Foodnetwork chef, Ina Garten has taught me that “store-bought is just fine!” Based on this philosophy, I created a super fun and easy cocktail recipe for Cinco de Mayo this year, Tamarind Chutney Margaritas! They comes together quickly and is made using a key ingredient that is store-bought!

Tamarind Chutney Margaritas

Store-bought Tamarind Chutney 

One store-bought shortcut and a ready-to-use ingredient that I heavily rely on is the Tamarind Chutney! While you can find several great brands on Amazon, I tend to pick up the Tamarind Date Chutney from my local Indian grocery store.

Tamarind Chutney Margaritas

It not only comes in handy for whipping up a quick platter of chaat (Indian street food) but is also useful for adding to amti, sambar or chicken curry, if and when I’m out of the tamarind concentrate. You’ll always find the tamarind chutney in my refrigerator because it is a great substitute and my convenient secret ingredient in quite a few recipes, like in these amazing Mexican Tamarind Margaritas!

Tamarind Chutney Margaritas

Tamarind Margaritas

I love tamarind margaritas for their complex, yet balanced, earthy, sweet, and sour flavors. The main ingredient is the tamarind concentrate that gives it a wonderful tang along with some refreshing lime juice, and together they work wonders with a splash of tequila. Served in a beautiful glass with a chili-lime salted rim, this margarita is what I love to have as many times as possible on my vacations to Mexico.

Tamarind Chutney Margaritas

I first had tamarind margaritas on my vacation in Cabo, Mexico, years ago! Since I couldn’t live there forever, but loved every sip of those delicious margaritas I had in our resort, I tried recreating them when I got back. After a few tries, I found a perfect hack – the Indian tamarind-date chutney. With that, I could make tamarind margaritas in minutes whenever I craved them or missed Cabo!

My Recipe for Tamarind Chutney Margaritas

In my recipe to make the margaritas, I use the tamarind-date chutney. It is a delightfully balanced combination of flavors – a little sweet, a little sour, a little salty with a hint of heat. It definitely elevates the classic tamarind margarita and also adds a lovely Indian touch to it! Since the chutney is quite sweet, you don’t need to add any other sweetener into the mix, but it is rather thick, so you do need to dilute it a little bit.

Tamarind Chutney Margaritas

Aside from this little shortcut, I keep the margarita recipe as close to the classic as possible, using lime juice and a good-quality tequila – I personally prefer reposado, but you can use blanco, which is more commonly used for margaritas. I also love to use the chili-lime salt mix for the rim of the glass, like I’ve had in Mexico. It’s readily available in grocery stores and adds a contrasting flavor and an interesting twist to the plain salt rim. I hope I’ve convinced you of how well the chutney works in this recipe and inspired you to give this delicious and refreshing tamarind margarita a try. And if you’re sold on the idea, perhaps you might wanna try creating another version – the Mango Chutney Margaritas!  I have outlined step-by-step details below that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

Tamarind Chutney Margaritas
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Tamarind Chutney Margaritas


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: Makes 2

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 lime, cut vertically into 4 thin wedges, to wet the glass rim and for garnishing
  • chili-lime salt, as needed, for the glass rim (alternatively use plain salt)
  • 1/2 cup Tamarind Date Chutney
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (juice from about 11 1/2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup tequila, skip for nonalcoholic version (see Notes)
  • ice cubes, as needed, to shake and to serve

Instructions

  • Using a lime wedge, wet the rim of the margarita glass.
  • Sprinkle the chili-lime salt in a plate and dip the glass with its rim in the salt, making sure the rim gets well coated with the salt.
  • In a cocktail shaker, transfer the tamarind chutney and dilute it with water.
  • Add in the lime juice.
  • Add in the tequila, if using.
  • Finish off with ice
  • Close the lid and shake it well.
  • Pour it into the prepared glass.
  • Add ice to the glass.
  • Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and serve.  

Keywords: Cinco de Mayo, Store-bought Shortcuts

Step-by-Step Details

Step: 1

Using a lime wedge, wet the rim of the margarita glass. Sprinkle the chili-lime salt in a plate and dip the glass with its rim in the salt, making sure the rim gets well coated with the salt.

Step: 2

In a cocktail shaker, transfer the tamarind chutney and dilute it with water.

Step: 3

Add in the lime juice.

Step: 4

Add in the tequila, if using.

Step: 5

Finish off with ice. Close the lid and shake it well.

Step: 6

Pour it into the prepared glass.

Step: 7

Add ice to the glass. Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and serve.

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Blanco or Reposado Tequila

A blanco or reposado tequila work very well for making margaritas

Recipe Variations

Switch it up by substituting the Tamarind-Date Chutney with a lip smacking Mango Chutney!

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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