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How to use Tamarind

How to use Tamarind

Tamarind has a unique, sweet-sour flavour that makes it popular in sweet and savoury dishes alike. Are you a fan of HP sauce? Of course you are! Tamarind is a key ingredient in this iconic sauce so chances are if you like HP sauce, you'll also enjoy the flavour of tamarind.

This ingredient is great for adding to dishes and making dipping sauces for samosas and pakoras. We have our Tamarind Chutney and Tamarind Salmon recipe if you fancy giving it a try. There's a few different forms that you can buy tamarind in...


A block of tamarind contains the seed pods, stripped of the outer husk and squashed together. It needs to be softened with water and strained before it can be used.

  1. Pour roughly an equal amount of hot water over the tamarind (e.g. 1 cup of broken tamarind to 1 cup hot water) and leave to steep for 20 minutes.
  2. Push the mixture through a fine mesh sieve a little bit at a time, using your fingers or a spatula.
  3. You will be left with the fibres in the sieve and the thick juice in the bowl. The juice is what is used in cooking; the fibres can be discarded or used to flavour water, if you like the taste of tamarind on its own.


Wet tamarind is the pulp of the tamarind fruit which has a piquant, sweet and sour flavour.

  1. Add the tamarind block to a bowl with 125ml warm water.
  2. Mash with a fork until the pulp dissolves into a thick paste.
  3. Add more water to reach the desired texture.


This is a thick, dark unsweetened paste, which works well in salad dressings because it dissolves easily when whisked with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. It’s so highly concentrated that you can just spoon out a tiny bit to add zing to your sauce. This form of tamarind is very easy to prepare, simply add as much water as you want to get the desired consistency. It's worth noting that the concentrated tamarind can discolor food, so when adding tamarind to dishes, it's best to use the tamarind block.

Using the wet or dry tamarind is better if you're adding tamarind to your cooking as the concerntrate form can discolour the dishes. The Tamarind Concerntrate is more convenient if you're wanting to make a dipping sauce/ chutney as it's easier to prepare.

We hope this blog has helped you understand more about tamarind and that it has inspired you to give it a try.