Monday, October 26, 2009

How to Prepare and Preserve Tamarind Paste

We need tamarind paste in our daily cooking for almost all of our South Indian dishes, like Sambar, Vathal Kuzhambu, Kara Kuzhambu, Rasam, Kerala Style Theeyal etc.
It is very easy to prepare and preserve the paste for easy use. The only thing is that you have to store in a refrigerator as we do not use any preservative.

Method 1:
Take about 1/2 kg or 500 grams of tamarind. Remove all theseeds and the extra strings as much as you see and clean. Using a juice extractor extract juice from the tamarind, adding a little water. Strain the tamarind juice, add 1/2 cup salt  and 1 tsp turmeric powder.
Cook it starts boiling and simmer it till the mix gets thick. Let cool. Store in a airtight glass container (use an empty pickle bottle, if you do not have containers) and refrigerate.  This will last for at least 2 months.

Method 2:
If you have a microwave at home you can use that also for making tamarind paste.
Take 250 grams of the tamarind, clean and remove the tamarind of the seeds and the strings.
Put it in a glass bowl with a cup of water  add a tablespoon salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
Cook in high heat for about 5 minutes. Check if it is cooked nicely and got thick, if not cook it for a minute or more.
Cool and then store in a glass container, even a empty pickle bottle will do.

1. This tamarind paste, you can take use while making our daily curries and rasam. You need not have to soak the tamarind, strain the pulp daily for our daily cooking.
2. If you have a microwave you can even do it in smaller amount you need for the month.
3. You need to use only one teaspoon of the paste if you are cooking just for the two of you. Use the paste and adjust as per your taste
4. You can add it even after the cooking is over. The raw smell will not be there as the paste is already cooked.

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