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stevea

Tamarind

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I have some tamarind concentrate in the refrigerator (a thick syrup), but I'm never sure how much of it to use (and whether to dilute with water) in recipes that call for tamarind paste (where you break off a piece, soak in boiling water, and strain). For example, the Pad Thai recipe in RecipeGullet calls for two tablespoons of tamarind paste (treated the way I just described). Anyone have any idea how much tamarind concentrate to use to achieve similar results?


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I have a related question: a recipe I have lists 'tamarind juice' as an ingredient. Is this reconstituted paste, reconstituted concentrate, or the stuff that's actually sold as tamarind juice (which have sugar in them-- at least the one I see in the Latin store near me)? Or are these three things all different ways of getting to the same point: a sweetened liquid version of tamarind (as most recipes with paste reconstitutions have you add sugar).


Chris Sadler

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For processing-related reasons unknown to me, these products all taste pretty different. In the case of tamarind concentrate, I assume it has to do with heating, because it has a slight burnt flavor. It's about twice the strength of tamarind paste, so use half as much. Tamarind juice has more added sugar than you'd generally use in a recipe, but it also has a refreshing fruity flavor that seems out of place in a savory dish, even a sweetened Thai one. Similarly, when I asked nightscotsman to develop a tamarind cocktail for an article I wrote, he reported that no matter how much he sweetened tamarind paste, it was too savory.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Tamarind concentrate is usually made by reduction of juice, and all the ones I've ever tasted have a caramelised taste from which you can never quite escape.

Concentrate tends to be more flavoured, paste tends to be sourer, and I don't substitute the two.

If you can, use fresh pods; they keep for quite a while in a ziploc in the fridge, and you just pour on boiling water and rub through a seive... the extra flavours you get are well worth the slight hassle of preparation.


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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:smile:

Stevea,

In one book i have it says. To make tamarind water, It is one tablespoon syrup in one half cup hot water. If using paste a chunk about the size of golf ball in one half cup very hot water, set for 10 minutes and strain through very fine strainer.

I use the syrup when I make my own Worcestershire sauce, but have not tryed other things. Hope this helps. :unsure:

Charlie

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Thanks much, folks. Sounds like paste is the way to go over concentrate. I've never seen fresh pods in the stores I frequent, but then I've never looked either. I will keep my eyes open.


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The whole pods come in two varieties, sweet and tart. The sweet are almost never what you want, but they're not always clearly labeled.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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The whole pods come in two varieties, sweet and tart. The sweet are almost never what you want, but they're not always clearly labeled.

There's a store near me that does have fresh pods. They look downright nasty-- it basically looks like a bag of goo with pod shaped lumps. Is this normal? Or does it mean they are not fresh? Can't tell from the label whether they are sweet or tart.

Can you elaborate on how to use them? A previous post said to pour on boiling water. So you basically soak them and then sieve the result?


Chris Sadler

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I recently discovered Tamarind Concentrate at the Asian Market. I've always been curious about tamarind, but the process of soaking and straining (or squeezing) the tamarind paste seemed like a whole lot of trouble for something I wasn't sure I'd like.

I opened the jar of tamarind concentrate and had a taste. Wow! What a neat, bright flavor.

Now I'm looking for ways to use this stuff. Any suggestions?

TIA

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Try these

There are a lot of things to do with tamarind.

I love tamarind drinks.

They are very simple, such as this one

and here is some more info.

more recipes here not just tamarind.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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i tried a tamarind concentrate once and found it overly salty.

using block tamarind is easy and sometimes better.

all you have to do is soak the tamarind in some hot water and then squeeze away, discard the seeds and strings. (maybe twice.) whatever you don't use you can freeze. it's not as much trouble as you might think because you can get a big yield from a single task.

if you're still stuck on uses, think lemon.

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I just tried some as a marinade for shrimp. 1 part tamarind concentrate, 1 part orange marmalade, 1 part olive oil, S&P. Coated the shrimp with the marinade, let sit for 20 minutes or so in the fridge and put them on a rosemary skewer and grilled them. It was quite good, but definitely needs the pungency of the rosemary.

the recipe is from, er, Rocco DiSpirito's cookbook "Flavor". He suggests serving them over arugula.

I think tamarind is one of my favorite "flavor boosters". It is booth sour and sweet at the same time and has a bit of an earthy quality to it as well. So, yeah, definitely can be used instead of lemon or other citrus juices to add some sour, especially if you need a bit of sweet as well, but its got its own flavor - similar to a date or prune, but more sour.

Somewhere on egullet I started a thread as a bit of an ode to Tamarindo - just one of the many tamarind candies produced in Mexico.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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Rum, diluted tamarind juice, basil leaves = a nice cocktail.

Tamarind juice also makes a nice addition to salad dressing.


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Thank you all for the suggestions. A tamarind beverage is on the radar screen...

And whippy...fortunately this tamarind concentrate lists only Tamarind and Water on the ingredients list (no salt). It is produced in Thailand for import by Ahning Corp. in Los Angeles. It bears the Caravelle (ship) logo.

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I buy the "bulk" slabs in the meat department at Vallarta Supermarket.

I just got a 2 pound slab for $3.56.

Of course it contains the seeds which have to be strained out after it has been softened in water but it is very fresh and quite tangy.

I use it in a number of condiments I make - including my variation of an Indonesian sambal.

I also include it in some of my homemade mustards, ketchups and etc.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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fortunately this tamarind concentrate lists only Tamarind and Water on the ingredients list (no salt).

i'll give it a try!

i was making goofy tamarind coladas my first go around--the salt rather ruined them.

edit to fix bad quoting job


Edited by whippy (log)

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I'm gonna love these Tamarind experiments. I'm embarrased to say I've only eaten Indian food once, at a restaurant, but never cooked it at home. Can't wait to delve into a new cuisine!

Thanks, everyone.

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I just tried some as a marinade for shrimp. 1 part tamarind concentrate, 1 part orange marmalade, 1 part olive oil, S&P. Coated the shrimp with the marinade, let sit for 20 minutes or so in the fridge and put them on a rosemary skewer and grilled them. It was quite good, but definitely needs the pungency of the rosemary.

the recipe is from, er, Rocco DiSpirito's cookbook "Flavor". He suggests serving them over arugula.

I love Thai Tamarind Shrimp (with rice!) --- but Roccos' version sounds like it is very tasty too. :smile: Shrimp and Tamarind; definately a good combo.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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It does sound like tamarind and shrimp are a great combination. Kasma Loha-Unchit has a recipe for Thai shrimp on her website that I'm going to have to try.

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Buddhist Sour Soup from the book Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet by Jeffrey Alford. Page 58.

Tamarind Crab or Chicken is really good also.

Tamarind Crab


I was once diagnosed with a split personality but we are all okay now.

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I have a Kunz recipe that calls for a cup of tamarind paste and what I do I find at the store? Tamarind liquid.

Could someone explain the mysteries of tamarind conversions? I have seen it in beans, block form, and in liquid. Oddly, I've not seen paste.

And most important of all, how do you all like to use it?


"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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