We have been tantalising our taste buds with tamarind recently; it is an essential ingredient in West African and South East Asian cuisine. With its unique sweet and sour flavour the tangy tartness of tamarind goes a long way; adding a delicious distinctiveness to dishes. With its sticky sweetness, lip smacking sourness and a flavour like no other there’s nothing else quite like tamarind.
Tamarind is a fruit and it’s the pulp inside the fruit pod which is most commonly cooked with; usually being added to savoury recipes. Dark brown in colour and with a consistency similar to dates it can be added to a wide range of foods.
An essential ingredient in Pad Thai, speciality curries and many Middle Eastern dishes we have noticed tamarind starting to appear on more menus. Being naturally acidic tamarind makes a brilliant marinade; the acidity helps to tenderise the meat.
A really versatile ingredient tamarind can be used across many different recipes. Some of our favourites include honey and tamarind marinated salmon, sticky tamarind and ginger chicken skewers and a pumpkin, mustard and tamarind curry it adds a real depth of flavour and enticing rich color to meals. Perfect for winter warmers.
Used widely in Indian and Thai cuisine tamarind is also fantastic to make dips, chutneys and dressings each with an individual flavor. We recently cooked up, and seriously enjoyed, tamarind marinated pulled pork with curried coleslaw. Alternatively, try it with jackfruit instead of pork; it makes for a fantastic vegan sandwich.
The natural sweetness and original flavour of tamarind means it can also be made into interesting desserts. We’re thinking tamarind caramel, coconut and tamarind cake or fig and tamarind brownies.
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