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I have tamarind paste. What should I do with it?

The husband loves the taste of tamarind, so insisted that I buy some tamarind paste at a local spice shop recently. He's shown no inclination to use it, so I think it's going to fall on me. Any great recipes (any protein is fine) that incorporate tamarind paste?

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  1. In Andrea Nguyen's cookbook Into the Vietnamese Kitchen there is a most excellent shrimp with tamarind. I use tamarind concentrate, it is easier to deal with. Your paste will need to be soaked in hot water squeezing it occasionally to loosen the seeds from the paste and then strained pishing what solids through that you can. If you want to look for the concentrate Tamicon is a popular brand. If you need the recipe paraphrased let me know.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      I'd like that recipe if you don't mind. Sounds good, and convenient since I'm trying to clean out the pantry (impending move) and have some tamarind concentrate to use.

      1. re: msbo78

        Youo will need 1/4 C, Tamarind liquid and 1.5 lbs. Shrimp.

        Combine the tamarind liquid with 1 5 Tbs. sugar, 2 Tbs. fish sauce and 2 tsp. Siracha (Huy Fong prefered). Stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste to refine the flavor it may need more sugar if the tamarind is too tart, maybe more fish sauce and if your siracha is really fresh you might need to add a bit of water to tame it to produce a heat that is comfortable for you.

        Peel and devein your shrimp and salt heavily. Then rinse and pat dry.

        Get the boook you will not be sorry.


        In a wok heat 2 Tbs. canola or other neutral oil. Add 1/4 C. minced shallot and 2 cloves of garlic minced or put through a garlic press. Stir fry briefly and add the shrimp. Cook teh shrimp about half way then add the sauce. Bring to a boil and cook 2-3 mins. Serve hot with cilantro garnish and some rice.

      1. Many Indian dal dishes use tamarind - it's an eye opening improvement over a Westernized recipe using lemon juice. BTW the concentrate will turn your food an unappetizing looking brown but with that heavenly tartness.
        The best recipes I've made with tamarind are sambaar - vegetable and dal combinations. It's been very hard to find good sambaar in local south Indian restaurants (usually too soupy).

        1. I have an "indian" (not sure of the authenticity, but it's good!) potato salad recipe that includes a topping of tamarind.

          2 Replies
          1. re: odkaty

            Yum, sounds like a deconstructed panipuri-- crisp wafers with potato, chick peas, and a sauce with a tamarind base.

            1. re: another_adam

              actually, you've just listed the ingredient list - add a spiced yogurt and it's complete. I've never made the wafers - but the rest has a regular occurrence in our house.

          2. You can add a bit to the base of your marinade for grilled dishes like satay. Gives it a great tangy undertone.

            Another thing, which I like to do, is to just snack on it, plain. It's like sour candy.

            I also have a recipe for tamarind sangria lying around - I haven't tried it yet, but I imagine tamarind paste could be fun in drinks.

            2 Replies
            1. re: yogurtsoda

              i have a great recipe for indian sweet and sour potatoes with tamarind. i'm posting here so i hopefully remember to post it when i get home.

              1. re: yogurtsoda

                "Tamarindo" is a lot like a refreshing lemonade--I've had it but don't know how to make it. Google may be your friend here.

              2. Thanks, everyone! These all sound great. I will have to tackle the tamarind on Sunday night.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Megiac

                  This recipe from epicurious is really good:


                  I don't find it necessary to push the chili sauce through the sieve the second time; we don't mind it a little rustic. I also don't put on all the fennel seeds and peppers at the end. There's a bit of prep to this dish, but well worth it. I've made the salsa both by peeling (with a paring knife) and chopping the oranges and sectioning them, and it really doesn't make much difference.

                2. Authentic pad thai contains tamarind paste as well, IIRC. And,
                  since you can throw in practically anything you want - shrimp,
                  chicken, pork, eggs - you can use any protein you have on hand.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Didn't even have to use the search engine - found another related post down ~1 month ago on My Chow:

                    1. I make an Indian drink with it called Jal Jeera. I got the recipe from Saveur magazine
                      The recipe and photos are on my blog.

                      It's very refreshing and delicious. I encourage you to try it.

                      It's in the May archives

                      1. Last week, I bought some tamarind paste for pad thai. Now I need to know how long this will keep? Does it need to be refrigerated?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: shannoninstlouis

                          If it's one of those blocks of sticky paste, no, you don't, though it won't be hurt if you do. I keep mine in tupperware in the pantry.

                          1. re: Louise

                            yeah i keep mine wrapped in tinfoil on my spice shelf, and it takes me ages to use a whole block. no refrigeration required, it keeps fine for ages. i really will post that recipe soon!

                            1. re: rachelc

                              I have a recipe for the indian sweet and sour chutney that uses dates and tamarind. Its excellent with samosas or chicken, or even with any kinda indian food.