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Homemade tamarind paste

Storebought tamarind concentrate or paste might do the job but it's not as fruity and sour as the stuff you can easily make from scratch. Most of my recipes only call for a small amount, but it's worth making the full quantity and freezing any leftovers.
Servings: 250 millilitres


  • 200 grams tamarind paste
  • 275 millilitres hot water preferably just off the boil


  • Break (or chop) the tamarind pulp into smaller pieces and add to a large bowl. Pour about 200 millilitres of the boiling water over the pulp and leave for 15-20 minutes, or until the water is cool enough to handle. Massage the mixture with your hands to break the pulp away from the seeds and veins. The liquid will be quite thick.
  • Place a mesh sieve over another bowl and tip the tamarind and water paste in. Using either your hands or a spatula, press the paste through the mesh until all you have left are the seeds and veins.
  • Add the solids from the sieve back to the first bowl and pour the additional 75 millilitres of water over. Whisk with a fork to help break away any remaining flesh from the solids and strain again. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the sieve into the bowl (or knock it against the bowl a few times to force the drips to fall). Discard the seeds and veins.
  • Pour the paste into a jar or container to store in the fridge. It will keep for about a week. Tamarind concentrate freezes very well.


An alternative to massaging the pulp with your hands is to whisk with a fork while the water is still very hot. Instead of waiting for the mixture to cool, give it five minutes or so and whisk with a fork until the pulp falls off. Then strain and continue with the recipe as written.