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Tamarind paste - what to do?

sweetpotater Mar 23, 2007 01:51 PM

I bought some for a recipe and now have lots leftover. Suggestions?

  1. c
    chartreusevelour Mar 23, 2007 02:07 PM

    make barbecue sauce!

    3 Replies
    1. re: chartreusevelour
      sel Mar 23, 2007 02:10 PM

      Som Tum (Thai Papaya Salad)!


      1. re: chartreusevelour
        sweetpotater Mar 23, 2007 02:35 PM

        Oh my, I have so many versions of homemade barbecue sauce in my freezer, it's insane.

        1. re: sweetpotater
          sweetpotater Mar 23, 2007 03:00 PM

          Found it at the Asian supermarket.

      2. p
        p.j. Mar 23, 2007 02:37 PM

        Freeze it in portions sized for your recipe.

        Where did you find it?, i.e. type of market. I have looked and failed to find: actually, I need a brand that is kosher.

        Try middle-eastern recipes--for example Syrian, Lebanese, Israeli, etc.

        5 Replies
        1. re: p.j.
          mexicanjl Apr 16, 2007 01:47 PM

          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:


          1. re: mexicanjl
            p.j. Apr 17, 2007 11:11 AM

            Thank you so very much, mexicanjl!!! I will have to check this out this weekend. I am not fussy about the source of a hecksher, I will accept most.

            1. re: p.j.
              mexicanjl Apr 18, 2007 08:42 AM

              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:

              1. re: mexicanjl
                p.j. Apr 19, 2007 10:38 AM

                Thanks! Haven't had a chance to shop yet. I will report back when I do!

                1. re: p.j.
                  mexicanjl Aug 23, 2007 11:40 AM

                  Any luck finding any of the above kosher versions ?

        2. Sam Fujisaka Mar 23, 2007 02:43 PM

          Tamarind fish soup.
          Tamarind marinaded broiled fish fillets.
          Tamarind ice cream.
          Tamarind chicken adobo.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            Gooseberry Jun 11, 2007 07:00 AM

            Do you have a recipe for the ice cream? Or some suggested guidelines/ratios for it?


          2. maria lorraine Mar 23, 2007 02:52 PM

            Make homemade Coca-Cola. Tamarind paste, lemon and lime juice, vanilla sugar
            and sparkling water.

            6 Replies
            1. re: maria lorraine
              Candy Mar 23, 2007 02:53 PM

              If it is one of those dense blocks you have to break a piece off of and soak, it will last a very long time just wrapped in a baggie.

              1. re: maria lorraine
                sweetpotater Mar 23, 2007 03:00 PM

                Wow, Coke, I will definitely try this.

                1. re: sweetpotater
                  caliking Mar 23, 2007 03:12 PM

                  For the person looking for tamarind paste: go to your local Indian grocery store and pick up some Tamicon - very viscous, lasts for years.

                  Re: what to do with it - Coke and barbecue sauce are good ideas. You can add some to lentil soups. You can also make a savory kind of chutney which is often served with Indian snacks. Add some water to the paste and then add chili powder, salt and a little bit of sugar. Experiment to find out what proportions of each ingredient you like best and serve with anything that's been deep fried :)

                2. re: maria lorraine
                  Steve May 6, 2007 09:55 AM

                  any idea of proportions on this? Sounds wonderful.

                  1. re: maria lorraine
                    Olivia Jun 10, 2007 04:37 PM

                    I remembered your tip and gave it a try today--absolutely delicous, and a much tastier drink than Coca-Cola. I might just be addicted. Thanks!

                    Must mention that I didn't have vanilla sugar, so just used a drop of vanilla extract and white sugar.

                    1. re: maria lorraine
                      egusto Jun 14, 2007 09:06 AM

                      Reminds me of a snow-cone I had in Mexico a couple months ago - shaved ice with tamarind syrup and lime juice, covered with hot chile powder. It was awesome.

                    2. s
                      ScarletB Mar 23, 2007 03:08 PM

                      Jugo de tamarindo - tamarind juice. In the state of Yucatan they use tamarind for all sorts of sauces as well, especially on shrimp. I'm sorry I don't have any recipes as I just ate there, didn't cook, but I'm sure you can find recipes for shrimp with tamarind. Yum!

                      1. maria lorraine Mar 23, 2007 03:27 PM

                        Oh...one more thought...it makes an amazing marinade. Put a dab/blob of it with water
                        and spices in a ziploc bag with chicken or pork. Easy. Tamarind paste lasts forever.

                        1. p
                          PandanExpress Mar 23, 2007 05:25 PM

                          Pad Thai?

                          1. m
                            mlgb Mar 23, 2007 05:35 PM

                            Anything cooked that needs lemon juice or vinegar, just add a spoonful instead. It really does last forever.

                            1. missmasala Mar 23, 2007 05:40 PM

                              it does last forever in the fridge. I've had a package in mine for over a year. it's great in anything that needs a sort of sour hit, but not as sour as, say, lemon juice. great for sour/sweet things.

                              I make a black-eyed pea curry with it that is great. Also a potatoes in tomato sauce dish that has tamarind and coconut in it. Great hot or cold, so it's good for a buffet or picnic.

                              the coke idea sound interesting. might have to try it.

                              1. s
                                shallots Mar 24, 2007 07:23 AM

                                We really like (don't throw things) Emeril's Tamarind pork chops from his New New Orleasn Cuisine cookbook from some years back (before he was a TV starrr).
                                But I couldn't find Tamarind Paste, so I'd boil down the canned Tamarind canned drink.
                                Was I loosing some taste nuances with my short cut?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: shallots
                                  sel Mar 24, 2007 09:55 AM

                                  I won't throw anything! I made some of the best special occasion dishes ever from his first book, 'EMERIL'S NEW NEW ORLEANS COOKING'!!! It's just hard to watch his overproduced and over the top newer FNTV shows! Following Paul Prudhomme and preceeding Jamie Shannon (may he rest in peace) as exec. chef at Commander's Palace is major, the guy IS a master chef, just hard to take as a TV personality!!!

                                2. ambrose Mar 24, 2007 10:08 AM

                                  I'm LOL because I have a tube of tamarind paste and I've never used it for cooking!

                                  Several years ago, an Indian friend told me that tamarind paste is great for cleaning and polishing brash. There are lots of internet references to this so if you have some brass, you can use up your paste in no time.

                                  1. m_poochie Apr 18, 2007 05:41 AM

                                    its can be brilliantly added to a soup, gives it the right kinda kick!

                                    1. b
                                      bite bite May 6, 2007 08:47 PM

                                      I've been using one of those dense blocks of tamarind for my cooking (as referenced above) -- the kind you have to hack of a chunk then soak in hot water then strain through a seive to get rid of the skin and pits. Can't complain about the taste but my wrists are killing me. Anyone have any idea of what the change-out would be to sub tamarind paste -- 1 tsp paste per Tbs brick? Also, anyone know if there's a big flavor difference between the two?

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: bite bite
                                        Amy_C Jun 10, 2007 04:41 PM

                                        On a similiar note, I have been looking for tamarind paste for a long time at my local 99 Ranch and I can't seem to find it. Everyone I ask directs me to a different aisle or says they don't have it all together. What items would it be shelved next to? Is it refridgerated?

                                        1. re: Amy_C
                                          Louise Jun 14, 2007 10:28 AM

                                          Probably not refrigerated, and if they have any southeast asian stuff at all they should have it. It's sort of like dried fruit in that lasts forever. It is often wrapped in cellophane, a square dark lump about the size of your hand. As for what aisle, I'm sorry, I'm not sure.

                                          1. re: Amy_C
                                            2m8ohed Jul 31, 2007 02:10 PM

                                            I got some at Lion Market, a chinese supermarket like Ranch 99. It was not easy to find. It was in the same aisle as non-refrigerated Thai curry pastes and Vietnamese spices and mixes, way down on a bottom shelf. Indonesian products were on the other side of the same aisle. Both the plastic-wrapped paste in a block and the concentrate in a plastic tub were in this area. Don't know if the store managers at other Asian groceries use this same logic, but if so, maybe this will help!

                                          2. re: bite bite
                                            Candy Jul 31, 2007 02:14 PM

                                            As I mentioned above I use the Tamarind concentrate. I don't dilute it any further. It is liquid. Tamicon is readily available and I have one from Thailand. The English name is Garden Queen. It is made for instant use.

                                            1. re: Candy
                                              mexicanjl Aug 23, 2007 11:38 AM

                                              I recommend using the Thai or Mexican versions for tamarind concentrate. I have tried Tamicon from Indian stores but the flavor is completely different and it taste to me a little burned and bitter rather than the sour and slightly sweet Mexican and Thai versions (and that is for the plain tamarind concentrate without any added sugar).

                                          3. o
                                            odkaty Jun 10, 2007 05:18 PM

                                            I have a recipe for a divine potato salad that includes tamarind paste - I found it in an Indian cookbook.

                                            1. DiveFan Jun 10, 2007 11:17 PM

                                              As stated above, it should last a very long time. Most southern Indian dal recipes make use of this; the tangy flavor makes a huge difference. I don't know about other products, but any quantity of the commercial Tamicon stuff will turn your recipe a nice appetizing dark brown! Tastes fine, though...
                                              Find Tamicon in every Indian/Paki/Sri Lankan market, it must be the law. IIRC 99 Ranch is Asian oriented so you will have to find an equivalent like the 'block'.

                                              1. arifa Jun 13, 2007 10:30 PM

                                                add a little to black bean soup. yum!

                                                1. l
                                                  lordkoos Aug 24, 2007 12:37 AM

                                                  I have tasted a Vodka Tamarind Martini that was fantastic. I normally don't drink hard liquor much, especially martinis but a friend ordered one at an upscale Vietnamese restaurant and after a sip I had to get one of my own, delicious. You can find tamarind juice or syrup at some asian markets.

                                                  1. scuzzo Sep 27, 2007 10:18 AM

                                                    I love tamarind! It's interesting and versatile and a bit unique. It's awesome with venison. Make a sauce, or put it in venison stew.

                                                    I mus try the Coke recipe! Cool!

                                                    1. scarlet starlet Sep 27, 2007 12:37 PM

                                                      Tamarind margaritas!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                        Dovid Dec 20, 2007 01:46 PM

                                                        It is fairly to easy to find tamarind pods in Manhattan's Chinatown. They look like fava bean pods that have dried out and turned brown as a paper bag. The advantage of getting the pods is that you control how much sugar goes into the recipe. You also end up with a much fresher tasting product than the pastes you buy.You snip open the pods, and use the dull side of the knife to scrape out the fleshy part along with the seeds. The pods are brittle, so this takes some skill. You may find that a short soak in cold water will make it easier to deal with the pods. The type that you find in CTown seem to be the uniformly sour type.
                                                        In Southeast Asian markets, you will see another type which is naturally sweet. Place the contents of the pod in a small bowl of hot water and let it steep much as you would do with dried mushrooms. Knead the pulp to release more of the solids into the water. Since it doesn't keep that well in the fridge (a week at most), I would only make enough for one or two meals. Keep in mind that tamarind is a bit laxative (like dried apricots), and so moderation is in order.

                                                        1. re: Dovid
                                                          TigLily Sep 20, 2011 09:36 AM

                                                          My husband's Persian and his family uses it for some of their stews and soups (they substitute it for dried limes). I actually didn't even know it comes in a jar/paste form until recently. I totally ate it by the spoonful out of the jar when I found out. If you like sour stuff (I'm the kind of person who likes Warheads and sour candies, sour patch kids and pour punch straws are still too sweet for my taste), you would love it by itself as well ... just be careful not to eat too much in one setting ... supposedly it's a natural laxative?

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