Tamarind — Interesting Flavor, Not Used Enough
avatar

Tamarind, a distant relative to the string bean, is used widely throughout the world. It’s known as kok mak kham by the Laotians, sbar by the Arabs,  tamarindo by the  Italians and Japanese. The Brits call it an Indian Date, and it has an exciting potential in new North American cooking as it welcomes more chiles, also dishes sweet and sour.

Recently, in an article in the Nation’s Restaurant News, cookbook author Florence Fabricant states, “Tamarind’s time is coming. With the recent interest in Indian food and  increasing taste for Indian flavoring in American food, tamarind may soon be right up there with ginger, lemon grass and wasabi.” Fabricant was referring to tamarind’s uniquely sweet-tart flavor. Popular in Asia, China the Caribbean and Africa, “It’s made to order for fusion cooking,” Fabricant says.

Tamarind’s history is ancient. First found in Eastern Africa, tamarind now grows in all tropical areas and is the most important spice to originate in Africa. The tamarind fruit was well known to the ancient Egyptians and the Greeks as far back as the 4th century BCE.

The tree, massive and ornamental in a feathery way, is prized for its beauty and bean-like pods. Annually each tree produces three to five-hundred pounds of four to six-inch pods. Inside the grayish/brown pods a bittersweet pulp surrounds  bean-like seeds. Pods are then compressed into blocks or cakes.

The cakes are layered with sugar in boxes, covered with a cloth and kept in a cool, dry place. To store for long periods, the blocks of tamarind pulp must be steamed or sun-dried for several days. Tamarind cakes need to be soaked before using. Tamarind concentrate in jars is also available in Asian grocery stores.

Along with its sweet and sour flavor, tamarind is high in  acid as well as sugar. One cup of raw pulp has approximately 285 calories, 75 g. carbohydrate, 88.8 mg calcium, 753 mg potassium, 4.2 mg vitamin D, 135 mg. phosphorus, 16.8 mcg folate, a tract of fat and no cholesterol.

Worcestershire Sauce contains tamarind, also anchovies. To use the tamarind cakes, place tamarind pods in pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, remove from heat and soak pods in water pods overnight. Press out all the juice from the pulp. Use the strained pulp in recipes calling for tamarind extract or paste.

HERE’S SOME SUGGESTED USES:
· Combine with meat or lentils, chick peas or beans
· Enhance marinades, reduction sauces and soups. It intensifies the color while adding acidity and sweetness.
· Tamarind barbecue sauce chars up nicely. A sauce for ribs can be tamarind, tomatoes, brown sugar, coriander and Szechwan pepper.
· Glaze meats, ribs, fish, seafoods with tamarind.
· Add to vegetable dishes, chutneys and salsas. Also use it when braising.
· Use it in jams, sorbets, chutneys dipping sauces and condiments.
· In India the pulp of dried tamarind – a major ingredient in spice mixtures – is also used in salads, broths and purees of dried vegetables.
· Mix cubed tofu with fresh vegetables, pineapple chunks and shredded ginger. Top it with a tamarind sauce.
· Makes a delicious additive for margaritas and Bloody Marys.
· Use it as a substitute for balsamic vinegar.
· Make a paste of ground onions, garlic, ginger and spices for Vindaloo pork. Stew with tamarind water until tender.

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

Comments

Tamarind — Interesting Flavor, Not Used Enough — 4 Comments

  1. 2017モデルブランド
    iwcスーパーコピー
    日本最高級スーパーコピーブランド時計激安通販専門店,高品質時計コピー,
    2017最新作、国際ブランド腕時計コピー、業界唯一無二.世界一流の高品質ブランドコピー時計,
    当店はスーパーコピー時計専門店,
    販売以下世界一流ブランドコピー時計:ロレックスコピー、ウブロコピー、オメガコピー、シャネルコピー…
    最高品質スーパーコピーN級品時計新作最新入荷,
    信用第一 なので、ご安心ください,全国送料無料!
    歓迎新旧顧客お願いします

  2. I have checked your blog and i’ve found some duplicate content,
    that’s why you don’t rank high in google’s search results, but there is a tool that
    can help you to create 100% unique articles, search for; Boorfe’s tips unlimited content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *