Tamarind Paste

I’ve never used the stuff before, but a curry recipe I was making call for it. I picked up this bottle, as it was my only option:

I used the prescribed amount, but in the words of the Chicken Connoisseur: fam, I’m telling you, the curry was DEAD. Aka the curry did not turn out well. Inedible, to me, in fact. It had this pungent sour that didn’t just seem to be a different flavor profile but tasted off. And the only thing I could think of was the tamarind paste.

Google Images shows it looking like this, whereas mine was much more viscous:

I guess what I’m asking: anyone have any experience with successfully using Tamarind Sauce? I’m just curious if I happened to get a bad can or if it’s just a flavor profile that I’m not used to. And what else can it be used for?


I use this:


The jar I had had spoiled and I haven’t replaced it. But it’s pretty watery and far lighter colored.

Here’s what I’ve cooked with it and they were fantastic.


I’m not knowledgeable enough to help any more. Sorry.

I’ve used whole dried tamarind pods:


There’s a Thai product that’s a brick of scraped pulp and seeds, eliminates some of the prep:

Serious Eats recommends the concentrate catoliver uses:


I made my own. It was simple to make, albeit a bit annoying. I was making a vindaloo, and decided that looking for the stuff (after stop 1 wasn’t fruitful) wasn’t going to turn into a project that took longer than making the entire meal.

I made my own, once, Took forever, made a mess, and I found it not worth the effort.

These days I use a tamarind paste that comes in a tube, much like tomato or anchovy paste. I found it at Simpang Asia. I don’t have a photo, but will take one next time I re-up. It’s way easier than even jarred tamarind, and is clean and fruity tasting.

I’ll look for that cause the jar was large enough and I used it seldom enough that it finally molded.

Prepared tamarind paste is much thicker and more pronounced than when you soak tamarind pods/seeds in hot water and strain. I usually use 1/4 of the paste with water than what a recipe calls for (assuming it asks for soaked seeds) and then add more as needed.

The stuff Ricker’s uses in his whiskey sours ?

Thanks for all of the thoughts. I’ll try it again (using @boogiebaby’s ratio rec) and see if I get better results. If not, I’ll probably go for the version that @catholiver and @robert mentioned.

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This is what I buy and use. Not often, but when I do, this is what I reach for.

I also use the Tamicon brand. Very consistent product.

I make my own. I never need very much at a time. Kroger stocks the pods in the produce department. You soak them in very hot water and then drain and peel of the skin. I push and squeeze the pulp into a dish discarding the seeds. That is it. Taste it and see if you like it. Maybe you just don’t care for it. Did the label say anything else had been added?

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Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely try to make my own instead next time.

I just saw this. Good idea. I make this recipe of Andre Nguyen’s


How would one ‘get’ this please? TIA.

It is easy enough to do. I was testing a recipe for her forthcoming book that wanted Tamarind and she suggested a commercial brand which I happened to have but the pods were in the grocery store and I decided to give it a go. I sent her the method I used. It may appear in the new book.


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That’s a super idea! Thanks, robert.