Preparation / Directions:
Pod: Tamarind looks a little like a cinnamon-colored pod of broad beans. Tamarind grows on tall trees and is peeled and seeded when ripe. Pulp: The fruit is then squashed into bricks and this is how you buy it. Juice: To make tamarind juice: break off 2 tablespoons tamarind from the block. Soak it in twice its volume of very hot water for a couple of hours. Now, squeeze the pulp well or press it through a sieve with a wooden spoon to get out all the juice. It must be strained. Extract: The juice can then be distilled and sold as a concentrate in a jar. To reconstitute, dissolve 1 teaspoon in any preparation for six servings. Preparations: sauce, gravies, soups, stews, curries, sambar, rasam, etc. Tamarind is often spiced and sweetened. Taste: Tamarind has a very tart citric flavor; if you cannot find it, use a dash of lemon or lime juice instead.