Tamarind is a quintessential part of Indian cuisine. Tamarind pulp is used in the preparation of sambhar, rasam, thogayal, chutney, sauce, chaat and what not! Tamarind pulp is widely available in the market in the form of pressed cake with seeds and fibers. The seedless paste is also available nowadays but it is almost thrice the price of the pressed cakes plus a lot preservatives are added to retain the freshness for long time. In Indian cooking, part of the tamarind is torn from the pressed cake and soaked in hot water and juice is extracted and filtered which is then added to the recipe. However, the tamarind paste can be added directly thus eliminating the time for soaking and makes the whole process simpler. This version of tamarind paste can be stored in the refrigerator for months with zero added preservatives. Come, let’s see how to make this time saving recipe at home with easy method and step by step pictures.
Author: PRIYA SRINIVAS
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Tamarind pulp- 300 grams
- Water- 500 ml + 1 cup
1. Roughly break the tamarind cake into small chunks and remove the fibers and seeds as much as possible.
2. Add the tamarind chunks into a vessel and add 500 ml water to it.
3. Pressure cook with whistle for 20 minutes in low flame. (I did not get whistle but the tamarind got cooked)
4. Once the pressure is released, take it out and mash well.
5. To get a pure concentrate, strain the cooked tamarind pulp and store the collected puree in a glass jar inside the refrigerator. This process is time consuming and laborious and pure tamarind concentrate is less in quantity. So I decided to grind the remaining tamarind.
6. Add the remaining tamarind to a large mixer jar and add 1 cup of water to it and grind to a smooth paste. Store in a separate glass jar inside the refrigerator and use a clean and dry spoon while handling.
You can make this in bulk and add 1 tbsp of tamarind paste each in ice cube tray and freeze; when it is solid, add to zip lock bag and freeze and you can use for more than six months.
7. To make tamarind extract for recipes: Take the ground tamarind paste using a clean spoon and add to a bowl. Add required water, stir well and use.
If using the tamarind concentrate, add the required amount directly to the cooking vessel and mix well.