Tamarind fruit comes from a tropical tree that grows throughout Southeast Asia. Its beans contain seeds covered by a fibrous pulp. This pulp starts out sour but sweetens over time.
Tamarind is one of the oldest spices known to humankind. It’s been used since ancient times to make chutney, pickles, and sauces. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word “tam,” meaning “sweet.”
Tamarind is used in cuisines around the world, and we’re excited to feature some recipes you might enjoy.
This Asian-inspired dish is perfect for entertaining because it requires no cooking skills. You just throw everything together and let it marinate while you prepare dinner.
This easy shrimp dish takes just 15 minutes to prepare and tastes like something out of a Chinese restaurant. You won’t even miss the pink color, because it doesn’t come from shrimp; it comes from a special sweet soy sauce called hoisin.
This recipe calls for tamarind paste, but you could use tamarind powder if you prefer. Simply add one teaspoon of powdered tamarind per cup of water and let sit for 15 minutes. Then strain off the liquid and discard the solids.
You can serve this dish over rice or noodles, but I love it best served over brown rice because the flavor is even better.
This one uses tamarind pulp. You can buy it online or pick it up at an Asian grocery store. If you don’t want to use tamarind pulp, try substituting lime juice or lemon juice.
4. Pla Rad Prig
The traditional way to serve this dish is to put some rice on a plate, place pieces of fried fish on top, pour over the tamarind sauce, and sprinkle with chopped green onion.
However, you don’t have to use rice for this recipe. You can use whatever type of carb you like best such as noodles or pasta.
5. Pad Thai
Pad thai is a popular noodle dish from Thailand. It’s usually made with egg noodles, tofu, bean sprouts, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, peanuts, and lime juice.
A stir fry is one of those dishes that everyone loves, and it’s easy to make too. You just chop up some vegetables and toss them into hot oil along with seasonings.
There are many variations, depending on what ingredients you use. Try making this dish with baby corn, mushrooms, bell peppers and artichoke.
Mix everything together in a bowl and add some mustard oil along with the tamarind. Toss well and serve immediately.
Fish curry is another popular Indian dish. This version has a sweet tanginess thanks to tamarind. The secret ingredient here is coconut milk, which gives the dish its creamy texture.
If you’ve never had pork stew before, you’re missing out. It’s a delicious combination of flavors: savory meat, sweet tamarind and spicy chili. It’s also very filling, so you can eat it as a main course or as part of a larger meal.
Tamarind soup is a classic comfort food in India. This version is made with fresh shrimp instead of dried ones. It’s light and refreshing, and it goes great with plain white rice.
Chicken curry is a favorite all around the world, but it takes on a whole new dimension when you add tamarind.
The acidity of the tamarind balances the richness of the spices, and the result is a flavorful chicken dish that will leave your family asking for more.
Beef is a common protein choice in Indian cooking, and this beef curry features tamarind, a tangy fruit native to Asia. It adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish. This dish is rich and flavorsome.
Vegetables are usually cooked separately from meat, but they go perfectly with curries. Here, green beans and chickpeas are added to the mix, giving the dish extra nutrients while adding color.
Duck pairs great with tamarind and this recipe is a treat for the taste buds. It’s got a rich, hearty taste that makes it feel indulgent even though it contains only a few ingredients.
Ginger is an amazing spice that adds warmth and depth of flavor to any dish. Here, it combines with tamarind to create a fragrant chicken dish that tastes like something straight out of an Asian restaurant.
Prawns are a favorite seafood, and these prawns have been spiced up with chili, garlic and other spices. They’re served with a side of steamed jasmine rice, which helps balance out their fiery kick.
Pork chops are a simple cut of meat, but they take on a whole new level of flavor when paired with tamarind. They’re juicy and tender, and they have a subtle sweetness that pairs beautifully with the sourness of the sauce.
Roasting brings out the best in tough cuts of meat like flank steak. It caramelizes the outside of the roast, creating a crispy crust that makes the inside melt-in-your mouth tender.
Turkey breast is a lean cut of meat, making it perfect for healthy cooking. It’s also one of the easiest proteins to cook since it’s already deboned.
Salmon may be a bit high maintenance due to its delicate texture, but it’s a traditional ingredient in many Japanese dishes, and it’s definitely worth including in your own recipes. This recipient is highly nutritious and delicious.
Stew is a traditional English dish, and it was originally made with mutton (lamb). Today, we use different types of meat, including beef, chicken and vegetables along with various spices depending on taste.
Fish curry is a classic Indian dish, and this version uses tilapia which is a mild white fish. If you can’t find tilapia, try cod or halibut.
Thighs are a cheap cut of meat, but when cooked properly, they’re full of flavor. These chicken thighs are seasoned with tamarind, chili powder, paprika, garlic and onion.
Chicken tikka masala is a delicious Indian dish that originated in England. The marinated grilled chicken pieces get bathed in a creamy tomato gravy flavored with spices.
Stroganoff is a flavorful Russian dish that consists of beef in a mushroom cream sauce. This recipe takes things in a different direction and you can swap out the beef for lamb and use tamarind as a souring agent.
Lamb tagine is a Moroccan stew that has long been considered a national dish. This version features sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and tomatoes simmered and you can add flavors such as cinnamon and ginger to the broth.
Kebabs are a popular street food in India, and these kebabs feature chunks of marinated beef cooked over a grill. Serve them with a side of Cucumber Raita (Indian Yogurt Salad) for a complete meal.
Soups are a wonderful way to warm up during the cold months, and this sausage soup will fill your kitchen with a comforting aroma.
It’s hearty enough to be served as a main course, but light enough to enjoy as a starter.
Prawns are a favorite seafood all around the world. In Asia, they’re often deep fried until golden brown before being dipped into a spicy honey glaze.
This recipe uses fresh ingredients and tasty spices for a delicious and quick midweek meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Did Tamarind Come From?
The Tamarind tree grows in tropical areas of Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and Southern China. The fruit looks like a small orange pod covered in tiny black seeds. Inside the pod is a sticky pulp that contains tart, tangy juice.
The pulp is used to make sauces, jams, chutneys, and pickles. Tamarind paste is commonly available in Asian markets and grocery stores.
How Do I Use Tamarind?
Tamarind is most commonly used in savory dishes, but it also works well in desserts.
What Is Tamarind Used For?
Tamarind adds a unique flavor to many foods. Its acidic properties help tenderize meats, while its thick consistency makes it an excellent base for soups and stews.
Does Tamarind Have Any Health Benefits?
Yes! Tamarind is rich in antioxidants, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, B6, and C.
Can I Freeze Tamarind?
Yes, tamarind freezes very well. Just place the pods in a freezer bag, seal, label, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. To thaw, simply leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
How Long Will Tamarind Last?
Tamarind lasts for about 3 months if stored properly. If you notice mold or discoloration on the pods, discard them immediately.
Tamarind is a great ingredient you can add to maui things From savory curries to dessert recipes, there’s no end to the ways you can use this versatile ingredient.