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:
- 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,
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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
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 Im just a sloppy cook. Good thing I have the best cleaning service ever, and theyre scheduled to come in tomorrow! But thats another story.)
After the ribs are well cooked serve hot with bread or basmati rice.