ISO kosher tamarind paste
Help! I have been reading Jennifer Abadi's cookbook, "A Fistful of Lentils," (from the library), and want to try some of the recipes. A frequently used ingredient in Syrian-Jewish cooking is tamarind paste, for sourness in sweet & sour foods.
Now I haven't been able to find a paste that has a hecksher! At Global Foods, here in St. Louis, I found a package of paste made in Thailand, that contains "tamarind, salt.", but that is not sufficiently o.k. for my home use.
Does anyone know of any kosher paste????
Hey PJ! Don't know if you are still working on the tamarind paste issue, but I also had a similar problem. I am a kosher personal chef, and one of my clients wanted Pad Thai. A central ingredient is tamarind paste, and I couldn't find any form of tamarind anywhere in the NY area (I am in NJ so Brooklyn was not an option). I ended up using worcestershire sauce & fresh lime juice and it tasted pretty good, but I was not satisfied. So just yesterday, I found whole dried tamarind beans at the local ShopRite (they cater to a large Hispanic population, and tamarind is used in a lot of different central and south american cuisines)
I am excited to make tamarind paste from scratch, and I am sure it will be useful for lots of different things once I have it. The main objection I have to most commercial products like this is how much sugar they use - I have lots of diabetic clients and am always looking for ways to make things sugarfree. So if you are still looking, see if you can find some pods in your closest Asian or Latin American grocery, and give it a whirl! Here is a recipe (I found it at http://www.bawarchi.com/cookbook/past...):
500 gms tamarind
20 gms. Salt
1 tbsp. oil
2 cups hot water
1. Clean and soak tamarind in 1 cup hot water.
2. Take care to remove any seeds that may be in tamarind.
3. Boil in same water after 20 minutes.
4. Cool and blend in mixie till smooth.
5. Add remaining water, mix well.
6. Pass through a sieve, removing any fibres, etc.
7. Heat oil in deep heavy pan.
8. Add tamarind paste, bring to a boil.
9. Add salt, cook till a thick coating consistency is got.
10. Cool completely, stirring in between, fill into clean sterile jar.
11. Use as required with dry spoon.
Making time: 45 minutes
Makes: One 1/2 jarful
Shelflife: 3 weeks, refrigerated
Happy Cooking! - Rebecca
Thanks, Rebecca! Yes, I am still looking. Making my own sounds lik a good idea.
Do you have any other substitutes that you can recommend for other ingredients that are hard/impossible to find in kosher form? Like Chinese black vinegar, or a sub for oyster sauce?
Thanks again, and good luck with your career,
Did you ever find the brands I mentioned when I responded to your other posting ?
Here's a reminder:
For kosher tamarind concentrate go to a mexican/latin store and go to the candy section. They sell little containers of liquid tamarind candy some with more or less amounts of sugar that you can actually use to cook. Look for the most common Mexican hecksher which is a VK with two alephs under (Mexican orthodox ashkenazi). An example is one called "Pelon Pelo Rico". Another option without much sugar but a bit spicy is a candy called Pulparindo in a yellow or red plastic wrap (red is spicier) that can be used as a paste. Pulparindo does not have a written hecksher on the package but it is supervised by KMD-Mexico (Kehillat Maguen David). To see these two examples and to buy online if you cannot find them locally, follow these two URLs:
I forgot to mention a much better option called Pulpadip (brand is Lucas). It is a tamarind sauce mildly spicy perfect for cooking. It has the VK-aleph-aleph hecksher. I have used it for pad thai and also for salad dressings. To see what it looks like or ordering online check: