Paste or pulp - I think they should be about the same. It should be without seeds and fibers. If it does harbor seeds and fibers, then you need to removed them and the easiest way is to dissolve the the quantity you're going to use in a little water, and then sieve the crud out.
I have a one pound block of tamarind paste. Is that pure pulp? Regardless, I've read that even with pure pulp, you want to extract the flavor out with warm water.
If it is free of seeds and pulp, then tear off a golf-ball sized piece. Since you're throwing it in the blender, it really doesn't need to be dissolved. If, however, you were using it in a sauce, then yes, you would want to dissolve it prior to adding it because it will just sit on the bottom of the pan and not move - unless, of course, you are blending the sauce with a stick blender.
This sounds like quite a meal!
Edited by theabroma, 17 November 2003 - 01:29 PM.