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QuestionWhat is tamarind sauce and where can I buy it?

B.H. Queensland, Australia

AnswerDear B,

You ask about tamarind sauce. Well there are many tamarind products.

Tamarind pulp, puree, sauce etc originates from the extract of the brown pods of the tamarind tree, Tamarindus indica. The fresh pulp has a sour, fruity taste and is popular in Indian and Asian cooking. Tamarind is available in different forms commercially. The crudest consists of blocks of partly dried, unpitted, broken, sticky fibrous pods. They should be macerated in water to extract the sour, brown tamarind juice, as should blocks of seedless tamarind.

The most convenient is tamarind puree, which can be used straight from the jar. Sometimes it is available as a sauce, but I prefer to use the puree as the basis of other dishes. Tamarind makes excellent sweet and sour chutneys or sauces and can be used in vegetable dishes and curries. Tamarind in its various forms is available at Indian and South-East Asian grocery stores.

Hope that helps.

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