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What is the alernative to using tamarind in cooking?

Date: 28 Feb 2016   Posted By: Vandana     Group: Home    Category: Cooking Queries   

For certain foods, such as sambhar, rasam, etc I use tamarind pulp. Other than using amchur powder, is there any other option? I am asking because one of my family members is not allowed to eat sour foods and must avoid tamarind.

In this context, would like to know some alternative to using tamarind water for one of my favourite chaat foods: paani puri! Suggest some tasty flavoured water (a natural, not artificially flavoured one).

Awaiting advice from experts.

Have a problem using tamarind in food? Wondering about a suitable replacement for tamarind? check out responses from experts on this page.

Author: Kailash Kumar    02 Mar 2016      Member Level: Platinum     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

Lime juice can be an obvious natural substitute of tamarind though it may not provide the same tartness. With a view to create a balanced sweet and sour flavor, the lime juice can be mixed with equal parts of water and brown/white sugar.
Also a pulp of equal parts of dried fruits like dates, apricots or prunes and lime juice can be made by blending the same in a food processor to have a physical appearance also similar to tamarind paste.

Author: Mahesh    02 Mar 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

There are some of the combinations that give similar sour flavor.

Add tomato puree, vinegar, herbs, bitter gourd juice and lemon. This gravy if heat for like 5 minutes, you get thick puree that can be used to give similar taste like tamarind.

Another option is to use prunes, vinegar, lemon juice and tomato puree. The prune juice or thick gravy can give you similar taste.

If you are concerned about health, then avoid tomato puree and salt into this and keep the rest of the items as is. That should be a good way for you to have tamarind like taste.

Author: Juana    03 Mar 2016      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 8  (Rs 8)    Voting Score: 0

Has your family member been advised to avoid only tamarind or all things sour? If it is only tamarind that they have been asked to avoid then you can use anything with a sharp, acidic taste. However, you might not get the desired taste.

You can use either raw mango (kachi keri) or kokum as substitute for tamarind while making sambhar and rasam. You can dice raw mango into small pieces and add to sambhar and cook until soft. If you need to make rasam you can add raw mango pulp instead of tamarind.

Alternatively, you can use kokum. It is a fruit that is used in cooking in the kokan region. Usually the dried variety of the fruit is used – it looks like peel that is used in cakes etc and has a distinctive dark purple maroonish colour. You can soak a lemon sized ball of kokum in hot water and extract its pulp and juices and use in cooking as a tamarind substitute.

I make a raw mango drink that can be served with golgappa aka pani puri. Here is the recipe –

• 3 Raw mangoes (peeled and diced)
• Mint leaves (only the leaves)– 1 big bunch
• Cilantro leaves – a small bunch
• Green chillies – 2-3 or more if you like the water to be fiery
• 1 ½ tbsp dry roasted cumin seeds coarsely ground
• Dry ginger (saunth) – 1" piece
• Black salt – 1 ½ tbsp
• Rock salt (sendha namak) – to taste – you can use regular salt too
• Sugar – 1 tbsp
• Water – 1 ½ litre (approx) + 750 ml (approx)
• Namkeen boondi – I packet

• Use a blender to make a fine pulp of the mango pieces
• Add mint leaves and green chillies and run the mixie until they too turn into a paste and blend with the mango pulp
• Use the dry grinder attachment to grind cumin seeds, rock salt and black salt
• Soak dry ginger in warm water for ½ hour and either grind or pound it coarsely
• Chop cilantro leaves finely
• Once the ingredients are prepared transfer all except cilantro and boondi into a stainless vessel along with 1 ½ litre water
• Stir well and let the mix stand for 1 hour
• Use a muslin cloth or a fine sieve to strain the liquid
• Transfer the ground paste into another vessel and pour 750ml water to it
• Let it stand for another hour or so and pass it through a sieve and collect the water
• Mix the strained liquid with the previously collected liquid and place in the fridge to chill
• Before using taste for tartness, salt and pungency
• Stir in chopped cilantro leaves
• Add boondi to the water just before dunking in the gol gappas/pani poori

Author: Richita Dutta    23 Mar 2016      Member Level: Silver     Points : 1  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

You can avoid the use of tamarind by replacing it with lime juice mixed with an equal quantity of brown sugar. This will ive a sweet and sour flavour to your food.
Or you can go with pomegranate molasses(boil down a bottle of pomegranate juice with no additives, till it thickens.

Author: swetha    05 Jul 2016      Member Level: Bronze     Points : 1  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

use lemon juice and some times use mango pieces which were dry

Author: gsadhiks    13 Jul 2016      Member Level: Silver     Points : 1  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

Other substitute of using tamarind is lime juice or else you can use sour tomatoes . When you cut or grind sour tomatoes and add them to your cooking it will give the same sour taste as tamarind...

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