Tamarind and Sumac Date Chutney

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Last week I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Louisa Shafia, the woman behind Lucid Food and the author of the upcoming The New Persian Kitchen.


I was excited to tell her about Lezzet Spices and their wonderful Sumac which is so prevalent in Persian cooking and often used by Louisa. Having just come from a meeting with her agent, she had a galley of her gorgeous new cookbook with her so I got a little sneek peek.  I’ve already preordered my copy and you can too:



Louisa has also kindly donated a recipe to Many Kitchens featuring sumac which looks delicious!


Tamarind and Sumac Date Chutney
The New Persian Kitchen
Louisa Shafia

This sublime condiment brings together tamarind, lime, ginger, cinnamon, and sugary dates. Once pickled in the tamarind, the dates crystallize and dissolve into a soft paste similar to a chutney. After 6 weeks, the pronounced salty flavor of the sumac will mellow, and you can enjoy this fragrant pickle on everything from burgers to fish to cheese. For an easy hors d’oeuvre, spread it on a cracker and top it with lime powder–seasoned grilled shrimp and a fresh green herb. The chutney will separate slightly over time, so stir it from the bottom before serving to bring out all its tart lime goodness.

Tamarind and Sumac Date Chutney

Makes about 3 cups


1 cup Thai tamarind concentrate, strained to remove grit

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more if needed

2 tablespoons sumac

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pound Medjool dates, pitted



1. In a large bowl, whisk the tamarind with the lime juice, sumac, kosher salt, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon. Add the dates and toss well.

2. Transfer the mixture to a clean glass jar and add more lime juice as needed to cover any exposed dates.

3. Seal and store in the refrigerator.

4. Shake every few days to break up the crystallization. The dates will be ready to eat in 6 weeks and will last for about 6 months in the refrigerator.

Reprinted with permission from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Food Photography credit: Sara Remington © 2013

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