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Tamarind Paste

Tamarind paste is made from the pulp of ripe tamarind. Preparation of homemade tamarind paste involves isolating the fruit pulp and cooking it on low heat with sugar and flavoring spices.
Tastessence Staff
Indigenous to Africa, tamarind cultivation rate is highest in India. Also, India is the largest consumer of tamarind in the world. Other consumers of tamarind fruit are Mexico, Thailand, and the Mediterranean countries. The sour soup of tamarind is a traditional Thai recipe. The fruit may be a short or long pod, having a tough brown skin at the ripened stage. The inside of the fruit bears flesh green pulp that turns brown at maturity. Rich in vitamin, sugar, tartaric acid, and calcium, many people love the sweet and acidic taste of this fruit.

Procedure to Make Concentrated Tamarind
  • Tamarind paste, made after pressing the fruit pulp, is commonly sold in food stores.
  • You can also make the paste at home by using fresh fruit pulp and other flavoring ingredients.
  • When the skin of the fruit falls apart easily, it indicates that they have ripened and are ready for harvesting.
  • The fruit is sweet and sour in taste, though the intensity of sweetness vary according to species. Also, the amount of pulp yield varies from one cultivar to another.
  • Depending on which flavor you want, you can select the paste recipe. Consequently, the recipe may vary based on the ingredients.
  • You can use only tamarind pulp for making paste, or add spices like ginger, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  • To add or not to add sugar is up to you. If you don't use sugar, the paste can be used in all types of food recipes, while the sweet paste is restricted to sweet dishes and drinks. So, decide whether you want to make the plain or the flavored paste.
  • First of all, collect the required supplies including sugar and spices, as per your recipe.
  • For the sweet variety, you can use 1 part sugar for two parts tamarind pulp.
  • Boil the fruit pulp in a little amount of water, until it softens.
  • Sieve the solution to separate the skin and seeds.
  • Then, boil tamarind pulp with sugar and spice, while stirring continuously.
  • Reduce heat and continue slow cooking, till you get a paste form.
  • Transfer the wet paste on to a flat pan and allow to dehydrate until you get a solid texture.
  • Cut it into flakes and store in an airtight container.
  • For this recipe, selecting the ingredients is up to your choice. To be more precise, you can alter the taste as per your personal preference while making the paste.
  • For cooking purposes, tamarind paste is first mixed with water to prepare a syrup-like consistency.
  • Then, the liquid part is used in flavoring food recipes.
Uses
  • The tamarind fruit is consumed in a variety of ways, which vary according to region and personal taste buds.
  • Both unripened and ripened tamarind fruits can be eaten, either in raw or cooked state.
  • Green fruit is used for pickling, while the ripe tamarind fruit is added in jams, jellies, sauces, syrups, ice cream, drinks, and other snack items.
  • Also called tamarind concentrate, tamarind paste is prepared from the ripened fruit pulp that surround the seeds.
  • It is used in a wide range of recipes, for making drinks, as a flavoring agent in various dishes and for preparing sour tasting soups.
  • You can also use a tamarind paste substitute, such as lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Having an impressive nutritional value, this paste is used as a natural laxative and blood tonic.
  • It is also a good herbal remedy for combating stomach disorder, digestion problems, body ache, and yellow fever.
Simply including the tamarind paste as a flavoring agent in many dishes or for making sweetened drinks enhance the food nutrition, thus supplementing the body with essential nutrients.