Lon and I both think Tamarind is just awesome. It’s a super unique fruit that tastes like a blend of dried fruits, but it’s not dried or processed in any way. That’s how it arrives to us, straight from mother nature. There are two kinds, Sweet Tamarind and Sour Tamarind. Both are sweet and tangy, but one is more sweet than tart and one is more tart than sweet. (We learned about the sour kind the hard way.)

Sweet Tamarind

If you haven’t had fresh Tamarind, it can seem a bit weird. The shell is dry and brittle, easily broken.

opening sweet Tamarind

Once you remove all the shell, you have to pull off the veins. They look and feel a bit like roots.

Shelling Tamarind

Beneath the flesh of the fruit are seeds. Be careful not to eat those, but you can either suck the paste-like sticky fruit off, or you can pull it off with your fingers.

Tamarind seed

I sometimes snack on it, on its own, but Tamarind is used widely in Indian and South East Asian cuisine as well. When you need a larger amount of Tamarind paste, shell and remove veins on Tamarind. Place the meat in a broad bottom bowl and cover with warm tap water. Let it sit for an hour. Strain and discard the water.  Seed by seed, rub the tamarind seeds against the mesh of a mesh strainer, pushing the pulp through the strainer.  When the seed is shiny and clean of pulp, discard the seed.

Recipes with Tamarind coming soon!

posted by jessica at 08:53 AM Filed under Basics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.