I love this stuff at indian restaurants; it is usually served as a dipping sauce for samosas. So I decided, to buy some from an indian store to serve with homemade samosa. I bought this brand from India called QUALTY that says on the package chutney for samosa and pakora made from tamarind, date and spices. It is absolutely vile. It has an off smell and has a weird aftertaste. As far as I can tell it is not past its due date. I noticed that one of the ingredients is tartaric acid. Could this be the reason for the offending taste and smell?
Do you recommend other brands or will I run into the same problem?
Could be an off brand, but I think the problem might be that the "real thing" usually has a fair amount of black salt in the "spices and seasonings." It's pretty sulforous and if you haven't grown up with it, it takes some getting used to, if you ever actually do. (Myself, I've grown to like in small amounts - smaller than Indians would generally use.)
If you're going to all the trouble of making the samosas in the first place, you might as well take another 20 minutes for the sauce. (It freezes pretty well, and the undiluted tamarind pulp lasts a *really* long time in the fridge.)
Keep in mind that many recipes may be hotter/spicier/more pungent than what you get in restaurants that don't cater primarily to S Asians, so do taste as you go. Google quickly brings up lots of recipes most of which are more or less the same base with different seasonings: www.google.com/search?as_q=%22tamarin...
Tamarind pulp or Dried tamarind powder
Soft fresh dates
Soft jaggery or Brown Sugar
Red chili powder
These are the basic ingredients. Blend them together and adjust the seasoning for a sweet/sour balance you like.
Good point MikeG... my mom use to give me tamarind candy when i was little girl. I guess they rolled it up into a little log and u would break off a piece since it was sectioned by the tamarind seed. THought it was weird at first but kinda liked it.
Sometimes I do see homemade chutney in artisan jars but I am weary of it. I'd rather purchase some from the resto where I've tried it.