Using Tamarind in Preparing Sauces

A favorite ingredient of chefs throughout the world, Tamarind is an interesting fruit, widely used as a spice. Fresh tamarind tastes sweet, but once it matures the secretion of tartaric acid makes it sour.

The symbiosis of sweet and sour gives this fruit a place in a vast array of culinary dishes. The best part about tamarind is it goes well with almost everything. Mix it with a salad or a meat dish or even a dessert to bring out an authentic Asian tang to your dish.

The taste of tamarind is extremely powerful and unique. A small portion goes a long way in making your dish exciting. It goes well with other spices like cinnamon, clove, cardamom and anise. Aromatics herbs like garlic, ginger, chilies, parsley and coriander can be used along with tamarind. Be sure never to mix onion as they don’t really taste well together.

It has a huge influence on Southeast-Asian cooking, especially in India, where it is used as a base ingredient for chutneys and spicy appetizers. The soul of the notoriously famous “panipuri” or “gol-gappa”, famous in India, is tamarind. Chutney is another classic creation, which basically means sauce and is served with a plethora of other dishes. Here is a wonderful recipe filled with a dash of surprise, Tamarind sweet and spicy chutney.

Ingredients:

1. 1/2 cup Tamarind paste. (You can buy it directly at an Asian supermarket or make it yourself at home).
2. 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
3. 1 small clove of garlic, crushed to a paste.
4. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Vary it according to your spice quotient)
5. 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder. (You can skip it if it’s not available)
6. 1 tablespoon canola oil.
7. 1 cup brown sugar.
8. 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar.

Procedure:

1. Heat the vinegar, along with canola oil and brown sugar in a pan over low heat. The low heat slowly caramelizes the sugar to a nice thick consistency. The vinegar acts as a catalyst in this process while the oil forms a nice base.

2. Add ginger, garlic and asafoetida powder. Cook for about 2 minutes adding water if necessary.

3.Next add the rest of the spices along the tamarind paste.Add water if the sauce is too thick, or simply boil it down if you want it thick.

4. Let it cool down after which you can strain it down to a nice home-made sauce.

5. Serve it with baked meat, fish or any deep fried dish. Alternatively, you can also use it in a salad or use it to make a spicy drink.

Tamarind is not only a sweet surprise unique to itself but also easily available. You can find in most grocery stores or any Asian specialty store. There is also the option of buying it online, where you get to choose from a variety of different tamarinds. Try out this oriental sauce to fill your palate with exotic flavors. You can store this sauce in a refrigerator for about two weeks. It’s very versatile to use this and it can be added to a variety of dishes. Once you understand this exciting fruit you can let your imagination run wild. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Tamarind Cupcakes!

We all love the sweet and tangy flavor of tamarind. Tamarind spice condiment is extensively used in kitchens in South-Asia. The spice got its name from Persian semantic, ‘Tamar-I-hind’, which means ‘dates of India.’ Evergreen tropical trees of tamarind are inborn of Africa. These trees are extremely tall and bear fruit mostly in warm and dry areas of India, South-East Asia, and Mexico. Tamarind trees have elongated, drooping branches and thick foliage.

You can buy the tamarind fruit either in its fresh or processed form. But additives are added to the processed tamarind products which can depreciate its nutritional value. Therefore, it is much better to buy fresh tamarind fruit.

THE GOODNESS OF TAMARIND FOR HEALTH:

Tamarind is an ancient medicinal tree and is thoroughly used in treating various ailments related to sunstrokes, stomach, and cholesterol and so many others. The fruit of tamarind contains vital vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers.

Some of the major medicinal uses of tamarind: –

• Tamarind is rich in tartaric acid. It gives a sour taste to foods and makes them rich in anti-oxidants.
• Boiled or dried leaves of tamarind trees can be used in poultices for conjunctivitis or inflamed joints.
• Tamarind is rich in vitamins like vitamin-A, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamin-C. These vitamins boost the functioning of enzyme metabolism in the body.
• This spice is an excellent source of iron, which is necessary for the making of Red Blood Cells (RBC) in our body.

USE OF TAMARIND IN CUISINES:

This sweet and sour ingredient is used in various cookings. It is very easy to use, just cut open the pod, soak it in warm water for 10 minutes and the tamarind pulp is ready to use whenever needed. The tamarind pulp can be used in any cuisine to add more flavors, even in DESSERTS. It gives that extra zing to the sweet foods.

One of the very easy and quick dessert recipes that you can cook for yourself using tamarind in no time is your favorite CUPCAKES!

WHOLE-WHEAT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH TAMARIND:

The tangy sweet essence of tamarind complements the richness of chocolate so well that you will fall in love with this cupcake.

INGREDIENTS REQUIRED:

– Whole-Wheat Flour 1 cup
– Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 1/3 cup
– Tamarind Pulp 3/4cup
– Baking Soda 1 teaspoon
– Vanilla Powder 1 teaspoon
– Salt 1/2 teaspoon
– Vegetable Oil 5 tablespoons
– Unrefined Cane Sugar 1 cup
– Water 1 cup

PREPARATION TIME: 20-25 Minutes.

PREPARATION METHOD:

– Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
– Take a big bowl; add tamarind pulp, sugar, and water. Stir everything well so that the sugar completely dissolves.
– Now add vegetable oil in water and stir. Keep it aside for a while.
– Take another bowl and dry ingredients.
– Add whole-wheat flour, cocoa, vanilla powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
– Mix all the ingredients well.
– Now add the tamarind and sugar dissolved water into the dry ingredients and mix slowly and gently.
– Take your cupcake baking tray and grease it with butter or oil.
– Pour the well-mixed batter in the tray and keep it in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.
– Check your cupcakes by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, your cupcakes are ready.

Indulge yourself in the exquisite taste of CHOCOLATE TAMARIND CUPCAKES!

 

More great recipes coming soon!

 

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Two Recipes Featuring Tamarind

Native to tropical Africa but also found in other tropical regions all over the world, tamarind tree is famed for its distinctive bean like brown pods that grow in clusters and contains seeds covered in sweet-tart, fibrous pulp. When mature, tamarind pods are dried which makes the pulp sourer.

Also known as Indian date, chefs all over the world use this fruit in a wide variety of dishes; stir-fries, salads, marinades, sauces refreshing summer drinks, marinades among others. Tamarind also make a great barbeque sauce. Below are recipes of 2 common dishes you can make with tamarind:

 

  1. Fish curry

This recipe makes a well balanced fish curry dish that is spicy and rich in taste with a slightly sour taste given by tamarind. Fish curry can be served with chapatti or boiled rice,

Ingredients

  • 300 grams of white fish cut into small sizes
  • Fresh coconut meat
  • 1 green chilli pepper
  • 1 small sized green sweet peppers
  • Orange tomatoes 6
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2.5 tbsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. of cilantro powder
  • 1tbsp. of ground turmeric
  • 1tbsp of tamarind pulp
  • 10 black pepper seeds
  • 1tbsp of Fenugreek seeds
  • A cup of Water

Preparation

Flake the white fish, remove the gut and cut it into small pieces

Put coriander powder, shallots, coconut pulp black pepper, fenugreek seeds, chili, curcuma and tamarind pulp in a blender and a little water until you get a thick paste called masala.

Rinse the pieces of fish, put them in a pot then add the masala paste, finely chopped green pepper, curry leaves, chopped tomato salt and a little water to soak.

Allow the mixture to simmer under low heat with the lid on for about 30 minutes. After it cooks add a table spoon of coconut oil if you like.

If you do not like spicy food, you can reduce the amount of chili powder.

  1. Lamb Ribs with Tamarind sauce and Honey

 

This is a sour, spicy but sweet lamb recipe that is quite easy to prepare and it is perfect for the whole family.

Ingredients

  • 4tbsp. of extra virgin oil
  • 4 Limes
  • 2 Rosemary
  • A half tsp. of black pepper
  • 6tbsp of olive oil
  • 2kg of lamb rib
  • 60g of ginger root
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp of chili flakes
  • 1tsp of black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. of tamarind sauce
  • 2 limes
  • 6tbsp. of honey
  • 2 Quinces
  • 2 cup of prunes
  • 300mm of red wine
  • 4 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • 600mm of chicken stock
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2tsp of turmeric, cumin powder, chili powder and mustard powder

 

Preparation

Marinate the meat overnight before adding fresh rosemary, olive oil, black pepper and lime to the ribs. Mix the ingredients with the ribs well, put in a plastic bag then leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day preheat the oven to 200C, place a roasting pan on high heat, when it is hot add olive oil then place the ribs on the pan without any water. Add salt and fry on high medium heat until you are able to move the ribs easily and they are colored on the both sides

When they ribs turn crispy and brown, remove any oil from the roasting pan, add ginger and garlic as well as orange zest, mix them, add the spices mixture, chili flakes and peppercorns.

Now add tamarind sauce and honey, mix everything so that the ribs can absorb all the ingredients, add apple cider vinegar, prunes, chopped quince and bring the mixture to boil. Taste to check the seasoning.

After it boils, add red wine and allow it to evaporate to give it a good smell. Add chicken stock and boil it again. Remove it from the heat and put it in the oven at 180C for the ribs to cool for about 1 hour. Keep stirring so that they cook evenly. (This step made a huge mess of my kitchen – or maybe I’m just a sloppy cook. Good thing I have the best cleaning service ever, and they’re scheduled to come in tomorrow! But that’s another story.)

After the ribs are well cooked serve hot with bread or basmati rice.

Health Benefits of Consuming Tamarind

While lots of people think that tamarind is just like any other sweet, delicious fruit, the truth however is that tamarind has plenty of nutritional value and health benefits to offer. Therefore, it is important you start consuming this fruit regularly so that you can reap as many health benefits associated with it as possible. Here are some of the health benefits of this sweet, delicious fruit that will most likely prompt you to start consuming more of it.

It can help improve the health of your heart

Numerous studies conducted on tamarind have proven that it is quite effective in lowering blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels in the blood. Being a plentiful source of digestible fiber, the fiber contained in tamarind helps dissolve excess cholesterol in the blood vessels such as veins and arteries. In addition, the high amount of potassium present in tamarind has also been proven to help lower blood pressure, thanks to the fact that it is a vasodilator that helps eliminate excess pressure from the cardiovascular system. Tamarind also contains impressive levels of essential vitamin c, which is known to counter the effect of the free radicals that are attributed to heart disease. As such, regular consumption of tamarind can help improve your heart health over time.

Tamarind can help improve nerve function

Tamarind is a great source of vital vitamin elements among them vitamin B complex, which plays an important role in improving nerve function. Moreover, it is loaded with Thiamine, another essential vitamin that is known to aid in muscle development and nerve function. Thiamine can also help you stay active throughout the day as well.

It helps in weight loss

If you are experiencing weight gain problems, then it is imperative you add tamarind to your daily diet. It is high in a unique compound known as HCA (hydroxycitric acid). HCA is associated with weight loss, thanks to the fact that it counters the activity of enzymes that aid in fat storage. In addition, tamarind can help suppress your appetite by boosting the serotonin transmitter. This is crucial because it can help you overcome your cravings thus ensuring that you aren’t at risk of putting on additional weight as a result of overeating. So you’ll look great at the pool this summer. (And you deserve a great-looking, clean pool to enjoy yourself at – more on this later.)

It can help boost your immune system

The high levels of essential vitamin C contained in tamarind in combinations with its antioxidant effects make tamarind a great way of to boost the immune system and further ensure long-term health from fungal and microbial infections. Due to its antimicrobial and antiseptic effects, regular consumption of tamarind can also aid in elimination of harmful parasites from your body. It has been proven to eliminate stomach worms in kids in areas where it is grown.

Helps in maintaining proper digestive health

Tamarind is overly considered a natural laxative because of its fiber content. Consuming it either as a spice or fruit can help improve the efficiency of the digestive system. The fiber in it can help bulk your stool, hence helping it to move more easily along the smooth muscles of your intestinal tract. It further triggers the activity of the bile, which can is crucial to dissolving food faster. The fiber further stimulates the gastric juices needed to speed up digestion.

Tamarind has numerous health benefits to offer apart from the ones covered here. Moreover, its vital nutritional value cannot be reemphasized. But the most important things you should do is to consume more of this fruit regularly so that you can benefit directly from its numerous health benefits.

Where and How Tamarind Grows

Tamarind also known as Indian date is a tree in the family Fabaceae. It is scientifically known as Tamarindus indica. The genus is monotypic as only one species is known. Tamarind is native to tropical Africa where it grows in wild in Sudan. It is also cultivated in Cameroon, Nigeria and Tanzania. It was introduced in Mexico and South America in the 16th century by the Spanish and Portugese colonists. The first tamarind tree was planted in Hawaii in 1797.
Tamarind is a seemingly perpetual, medium development ragged tree accomplishing a crown tallness of 12.1 to 18.3 meters. The crown is vase formed in diagram with thick foliage. It develops well in full sun. it can likewise develop well in dirt, topsoil, sandy, and acidic soils and is exceptionally tolerant to dry spell and vaporized salt. The leaves are evergreen, brilliant green in shading, circular to praise and orchestrated on the other hand on the branches. They are innately compound and under 5 cm long. The branches emerge from a solitary focal trunk which is frequently pruned so as to make the tree accomplish a thick look. Around evening time the flyers close up. The blossoms are unnoticeably prolonged and red or yellow in shading. They are 2.5 cm in width, borne in racemes, five petalled and with red or yellow streaks. Buds are with four pink shading sepals which are lost as the blossoms develop and begin sprouting. (These trees are a bit finicky, so we do recommend hiring a tree service if you’re interested in owning one for yourself.)

The organic product is an indehiscent vegetable, 12-15 cm long with a hard chestnut shell. The natural product bears a delicious, beefy and bitter mash. At development it accomplishes ruddy chestnut colouration. The tamarinds of Asia have longer cases bearing 6-12 seeds while those of Africa and West India have littler units with 1-6 seeds as it were. The seeds are level and chestnut. Tamarinds are sweet and harsh in taste and are exceedingly rich in corrosive, sugar, vitamin B and calcium. The trees are ice touchy. The timber comprises of hard, dim red heartwood and milder, yellowish sapwood. The plant is developed by pulling the unit from its stalk. A full grown tree produces around 175 kg organic products consistently. Tamarinds are known by various nearby names in various parts of the world.

Seeds can be scarified keeping in mind the end goal to upgrade the germination. They bear the possibility to sprout regardless of the possibility that kept in dry condition for a long time. Despite the fact that it is local to Sudan yet the tropical Africa, Mexico and Asia are the biggest customers of tamarind. The natural product mash is extremely prominent and is palatable. The green mash of the organic products is extremely acrid in taste and is utilized as a flavorful specialists as a part of various dishes and additionally a pickling operators furthermore in making certain toxic yams in Ghana which are alright for human utilization. The ready natural product is viewed as agreeable as it turns out to be sweet in taste as opposed to being acrid. It is broadly utilized as a part of making snacks, sticks and sweetened beverages. It is likewise devoured as a characteristic purgative. In western cooking styles it is utilized as a part of HP sauce. It India it is generally expended in various dishes everywhere throughout the nation.

Phytochemical concentrates on have demonstrated the vicinity of tannins, saponins, sesquiterpenes, alkaloids and phlobatamins which are dynamic against Gram positive and Gram negative microscopic organisms at temperature scope of 4-30 degrees C in tamarinds. They are generally utilized all through Asia and Africa as a part of various wellbeing cures. In Northern Nigeria, crisp stem bark and leaves are utilized for making a decoction alongside potash for curing stomach issue, body torment, jaundice, yellow fever and is a blood purifier and skin purifying specialists. In Indian Ayurvedic arrangement of prescription they are utilized to treat gastric issues and are trusted that they are cardioprotective. In sanctuaries particularly in the Buddhist Asian nations the mash of the organic products is utilized to clean metal place of worship furniture. The wood is strong red in shading. Because of the thickness and toughness of the heartwood it is regularly utilized as a part of making furnitures and ground surface. They are likewise utilized as a part of bonsai society.

 

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