How to Prepare Tamarind at Home

· September 18, 2018
In this article, we'll share with you various ways of preparing tamarind at home. Read on!

Tamarind is a tropical fruit from Africa. However, these days it’s also grown across Asia and America. With its recent arrival and popularity in Europe, we’ll show you some quick and easy ways to prepare tamarind at home.

The tamarind fruit is brown and belongs to the lentil and chickpea family. Under its skin is has an acidic flesh which can get lightly sweet once ripe. It’s used in many recipes across the world, particularly in dressings and drinks.

The Nutritional Properties of Tamarind

In addition to its many nutritional properties, Tamarind contains a large amount of carbohydrates. It also contains vegetable proteins, made up various amino acids, such as tryptophan, methionine, and lysine.

A jug and a glass of tamarind water

Additionally, it provides soluble fibers, such as pectin, and vitamins A, B3, and C. Tamarind also contains beneficial minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and phosphorous. Lastly, tamarind has a low fat content and works as a laxative and antioxidant.

Recipe for Tamarind Water

This drink is used a lot in Mexican cooking and has detox effects for the body. It’s a delicious drink and has a nice bite due to the Tamarind’s acidic flavor.

The use of sugar or stevia also provides a sweetness so that everybody can enjoy it. It’s a really simple way to prepare tamarind at home.

To make two liters (half a gallon) of tamarind water, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar (60 g)
  • 1 cup of dry tamarind (200 g)
  • 2 litres of water

First, you need to peel the fruit to remove the skin from the pods. Once peeled, put the tamarind pods in a litre of boiling water so that they soften and begin to loosen the flesh.

Once the tamarind has been boiling for 15 to 20 minutes, remove the remains of the pods and leave the water to cool.

Whilst it’s cooling, take a pestle and mortar to the softened pods and crush them to get all the pulp out. This way it will be easy to remove the husks. Once removed, drop the pulp in the water and stir well.

Finally, put the water and tamarind into a blender. Add the sugar and the remaining litre of water. Process well until you get a nice mixture.

Voilá! You’ve just made some tamarind water which you can serve with ice. You can add more water or sugar to suit your taste.

Recipe for Tamarind Sauce

Another interesting way to prepare tamarind at home is a sauce that goes really well with chicken or calamari dishes. 

It’s very easy to make and you just need the following ingredients:

  • 1 clove of garlic (2 g)
  • 1 chipotle chile (4 g)
  • 1/4 red onion (50 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (10 g)
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (30 g)
  • 2 cups of tamarind pulp (200 g)

You can buy tamarind pulp already prepared in a jar.However, if you want to prepare it at home, which always makes a recipe a little more special, then simply follow the same instructions as for the tamarind water.

Begin by peeling the tamarind and putting the pods in some boiling water. Remove the softened pods after 15 minutes and remove the pulp from the husks.

Then, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, chopped red onion, and the tamarind pulp. After a few minutes, the pulp will have softened. Lower the heat to a minimum and add the crudely chopped chipotle chile and a pinch of salt and pepper.

A basket of tamarind fruit waiting to be used to prepare tamarind at home

Once all the ingredients have softened, put them all in a blender.Process the mixture well until you get a well-blended sauce and then leave it to cool so that it thickens before use.

This can bring a really interesting and typically Mexican taste to any chicken or fish dish, owing to the acid from the tamarind, and the spice of the chile.

You could also invent your own recipe to prepare tamarind at home. Cooking lets you experiment and be creative!