Recipe Improvement Advice!!
Hello, cooking novice here. I've got a pre-planned meal routine going with a Tamarind Chickpea Rice recipe from Knorrs:
It's working well for me in terms of cost/easiness, but the taste is a little bland. A little too "savory dullness". I think part of the problem is that I'm not suing tamarind juice concentrate -- I'm using a powder packet mixed with hot water.
Any suggestions? This is basically for me to use as a mini-meal between lunch and dinner, and I'm clueless when it comes to cooking.
I suggest using a bouillon cube or granules instead of the 5 tsp. bouillon; I use them alot by breaking it up and adding to whatever I'm cooking, keeping in mind to adjust the salt because these cubes are plenty salty. I also suggest getting a salt free seasoning blend to keep on hand to sprinkle in this and other dishes. I keep a couple of varieties of salt free blends: garlic & herb or onion & herb would give many dishes extra flavor. A bit of ground cumin wouldn't hurt this dish either.
If you can't get the tamarind juice, try a little Worcestershire sauce; tamarind is one of its main ingredients.
Tamarind juice is a kind of obscure ingredient.... Maybe just skip it and swap in the same amount of tomato juice or low sodium v8. Just double check that the juice is low/no sodium so it doesn't become overly salty. The fresh cilantro at the end will help add a lot of flavor too- if you don't have or like fresh cilantro a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice over it just before eating will help perk up the flavors.
I almost cried to see this dish called Tamarind Rice.
The South Indian Dish is great but not really appropriate for a novice I suppose.
This recipe calls for a lot of tamarind, and without the real deal I'm sure it's very dull. If you can't get the real thing, I would try subbing a mixture of orange and lime juice, for the tart-sweet flavor that tamarind has.
Since you aren't using juice you are lacking acid. Try adding a Tb. or so of lemon juice. For my taste I'd add some onion too.