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Old 07-14-2013, 11:07 PM   #1
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Tamarind paste

So... I have a question about making tamarind paste...here is some info I found on making tamarind paste.....

"...I am a former chef and use it in many dishes, I worked in Asia and the Caribbean, and here in Toronto Canada I buy them quite regularly, I take them out of the pods, and for me to keep them I make a vinegar and brown sugar syrup (1 1/2 cups cider vinegar, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar) with a few chili flakes added. I then put in the seeds and cook the mixture on low for 10-15 minutes, then I strain it, removing the seeds, this makes a pasty substance, I use it in Indian cooking, Thai, Jamaican and Mexican, even made a worchester style sauce once with it."

I am now wondering what is considered the seeds of the tamarind...
There is an outer shell + little stringy things that you take off of tamarind right away...

So I cooked the tamarind in the apple cider vinegar/brown sugar/chili mixture.

Once cooked there seems to be three parts to remaining tamarind....
there is a layer of paste you can scrape off...Then under that paste there seems to be another layer covering the seeds... Then under that layer there is seeds. I was wondering what this other layer is(between the paste and the seeds)? Is it edible? Does this layer turn into the paste if you cook it longer? or is it a non-edible seed covering? Do you mush this layer along with the tamarind paste layer and just take the dark brownish seeds out?

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Old 07-14-2013, 11:18 PM   #2
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I've never used the fresh pods. I usually buy a compressed block of the seeds and surroundings. It gets soaked in boiling water and strained.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
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I think it's all edible, except for the pod covers and seeds. I got some tamarind pods from the Asian market, haven't done anything with them yet except to eat the pulp from a couple.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:43 PM   #4
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Half way down the article, there is the culinary explanation of the use of the whole pod.

Tamarind - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 07-15-2013, 08:59 PM   #5
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I don't know why I can't post this more detail tamarind questions because it isn't that long of a question but apparently I can't so I have a link that has the questions....

http://goo.gl/y5n0K
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:25 PM   #6
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I use neither vinegar nor brown sugar in making tamarind paste. After cooking the pressed tamarind, I pour it into a strainer and work it through the sieve into a bowl. The seeds and any other fiber/residue get tossed. I use the paste in the sauce for pad thai. The tamarind, on its own, has that tart/sweet flavor.

Combining the tamarind with other ingredients makes it a tamarind/vinegar/sugar sauce.
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:02 AM   #7
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I do the same thing Andy does to make the paste. But, I must admit, I find the fruit very addictive--I love that tart-sweet combination and eat them as a snack (similar to eating dates). I spit out the pits/seeds.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
I do the same thing Andy does to make the paste. But, I must admit, I find the fruit very addictive--I love that tart-sweet combination and eat them as a snack (similar to eating dates). I spit out the pits/seeds.
It is surprisingly tasty!
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:08 AM   #9
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I use the compressed blocks of tamarind - preferably with as few seeds as possible.

I add an equal (by weight) amount of hot water and let the whole soak until the water is absorbed.

I then force the pulp through a coarse strainer using the back of a soup spoon. Some people do this with their fingers, but I find it both yucky and wasteful, LOL! I leave a lot more behind if I try to do it that way. Dump the fiber out of the strainer once in awhile to make it easier to continue to clean the tamarind.

Adding sugar to the tamarind, of any sort, would rather ruin the usual use of tamarind, which is as a souring agent.

I don't use the whole pods - they are far too much trouble. YMMV.
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