What is tamarind?
Tamarind fruit comes from a tree that produces bean-like pods filled with seeds. These seeds are blanketed by a fibrous pulp that starts out sour but sweetens eventually.
What part of the tamarind plant do you eat?
The edible part of the tamarind plant is the fibrous pulp that covers the seeds. This pulp can either be eaten raw or processed into something new.
Where do tamarinds come from?
The tamarind originally comes from Africa, but is also found in India (the world’s largest producer), Pakistan, and eastern Australia.
Where can you buy tamarind?
While tamarind often comes in candy form or as a sweetened syrup, you can also buy it as raw pods, pressed blocks, and in a concentrate where the pulp is boiled down and sometimes mixed with preservatives.
How do you prepare and store tamarind?
Save yourself the supermarket trip. It’s fairly easy to DIY a pressed block of tamarind!
To make your own pressed block tamarind, just soak one part of pulp in 10 parts of warm water for 10 minutes. Then, mix and strain. Throw away the pulp and voila!
Now, if you only need to use slices for juice or concentrate, soak one part to 10 parts of warm water for 30 minutes, and squeeze and strain the juice. To make tamarind juice, mix 15 ml of tamarind concentrate with 4 to 6 tablespoons of warm water.
Tamarind should be stored in a cool place away from sunlight.
What are the health benefits of tamarind?
In traditional medicine, tamarind played a pretty major role in the treatment of different illnesses. On its own, the pulp is said to help prevent heart diseases and diabetes. As a drink, tamarind is used to treat digestive issues like diarrhoea and constipation. With that said, you should always seek the advice of a doctor before using tamarind as alternative medicine.
What is tamarind paste and how does it enhance flavour?
Tamarind paste is compressed pulp with a sticky and thick consistency. It is best used for dishes that need both sweet and sour flavours. Tamarind syrup or juice can also be added to drinks make the taste a bit more complex and dynamic.
Tamarind food: What can you make with tamarind?
Here are some delicious tamarind-based dishes that you can try at home:
Tamarind chutney goes perfect with samosas (fried or baked pastries with a savoury filling), dahi vada (fried lentil dumplings topped with curd, chutney and spices), and pakora (deep-fried fritters). Check out a great recipe here.
Tamarind plays quite a big role in the making of Worcestershire sauce. Tamarind extract was added to the sauce three years after it was invented and it’s been part of the recipe ever since. You can make homemade Worcestershire sauce here.
Tamarind chicken stir fry
If you’re looking for a quick no-frills meal, try this tamarind-rich dish. Aside from condiments, all you’ll need is chicken, shiitake mushrooms, tamarind paste, and 25 minutes of spare time. Check out the recipe here.
This is a South Indian recipe for tamarind rice, also known as puliyodarai, pulihora, or puliyogare. This is a common dish in Indian households and is even used as an offering in temples. You can make your version based on this recipe.
Pla Rad Prig
Tamarind can also be paired with fish! Though it may seem difficult to make, putting together this dish is as simple as making the tamarind sauce and frying the fish. You only need 20 minutes for the recipe.
Goong Ma Kham
This Thai recipe involves a combination of tamarind puree, palm sugar, and fish sauce to give you a sour, sweet, and salty combination that will blow your mind. If you love spicy food, try this recipe.
Last on our list of recipes is a tamarind soup from the Philippines. Sinigang usually consists of pork ribs, water spinach, radish, string beans, and taro. You also have the freedom to use different meats, like chicken, milk-fish, corned beef, prawns, and salmon. Tamarind is used to control the sourness of the dish, which ranges from mild to almost painfully sour. Experiment to find out how you prefer your sinigang with this recipe.
If you don’t have tamarind, what alternatives can you use?
While there’s nothing out there that can quite replicate the taste of tamarind, a good alternative would be lemon juice.
What else can tamarind be used for?
Interestingly enough, its pulp can be used as metal polish. Because of its tartaric acid, all you have to do is take a piece of the fruit, soak it in water until it softens, then rub it on the metal until the tarnish vanishes – it’s that easy!