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Tamarind Paste Substitute

Asked by lalaland17. Answered on 24th October 2011

Full question

Good morning, I live in Belgium and cannot find tamarind paste. What can i use instead? Thank you very much!

Our answer

Tamarind paste is made from the tamarind fruit. It is mostly used in Asian and Middle Eastern cooking to give a slightly sour flavour to dishes. We have located an Asian food supplier in Brussels (see link below) and it may be useful to give them a call to see if they can supply tamarind either in-store or via mail order. It may be worth buying a block of tamarind rather than the ready made up paste as the block will keep for far longer and you can reconstitute the amount you need with water to make a paste.

A popular alternative is to use lime juice (or sometimes white wine or rice vinegar) mixed with an equal quantity of light brown sugar as a substitute for tamarind. This will give the sweet and sour effect but slightly lacks an extra flavour supplied by tamarind so it really depends on how much tamarind is used in the recipe and we would suggest this is best wehn only small amounts of tamarind are used.

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