Pineapple and Cucumber Salad with Tamarind Chilli Dressing

Tamarind is a natural match with tropical fruits, and this salad is hot, sour and tangy. It is a take on an Indonesian salad, and is perfect in Summer when we have the sweetest of pineapples available. The cucumber is seeded before being diced.

What a delicious dish this is, the tamarind and vinegar adding the sour notes and the chilli the hot notes – these play beautifully with the sweetness of the pineapple and the coolness of the cucumber.

Similar recipes include Hawaiian Chilli Pineapple Salad, Tamarind and Lime Dressing, Cucumber Salad with Rice Vinegar, and Balinese Sambal Iris.

Browse our Pineapple recipes and our Cucumber dishes. Our Indonesian dishes ar ehere. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Tomato-Garlic Soup with Tamarind and Spices, with a Lemon Chilli Yoghurt

This is a soup unashamedly based on a South Indian classic – Tomato Rasam. Tomato Rasam is a soupy broth based on tomatoes, tamarind and tangy, hot spices. It is sipped and also ladled over rice, so cannot be equated with a Western soup. However we can take the flavours of Rasam – the tomatoes, the tang, the spicy heat – and with this inspiration create a more Western style soup to awaken the taste buds and enliven the palate.

This soup is full of garlic, ginger, black pepper and turmeric, all good for Winter colds and general immune system. It’s one of the soups that we make when laid low with a Winter lurgy.

Tinned tomatoes can be used if the fresh ones lack flavour. We would normally serve it with raita, plain yoghurt, cream or coconut milk but today chose to make it without any of these to be more friendly to those in the household with colds. It is just as good without.

Similar recipes include Horsegram Rasam, Tomato Shorba, Tomato Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger, and Tomato and Dal Soup.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes and all of our Indian Soups. All of our Soups are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Tamarind Molasses/Syrup

Tamarind is one of my favourite flavours, and it is a regret that we don’t often get fresh tamarind pods here. There is a difference between using fresh young but ripe tamarind and the dried blocks of older tamarind that we use. Some recipes are great with the younger tamarind, some pair better with the older and/or dried tamarind. Occasionally we can pick up raw tamarind, and I love to make a sweet-sour molasses or syrup with it to capture the wonderful mouth puckering green taste.

Today I am roasting Brussels Sprouts with my tamarind molasses. You can make your own from raw or ripe tamarind pods, or even use dried or concentrated tamarind. You can find the details in this post. But in some parts of the world it is easy to purchase a tamarind syrup – this can be used as well if it is the sweetness doesn’t override the tartness. It needs a balance of sweet and tart.

Similar recipes include Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Preserved Lemon, Roasted Sprouts with Pomegranate MolassesRoasted Sprouts with Pomelo, and Brussels Sprouts Slaw.

Browse all of our Brussels Sprouts recipes, especially our Roasted Sprouts recipes, and explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Tamarind Molasses | Tamarind Syrup

Very occasionally I come across some fresh tamarind in our local Asian shops. Sometimes it is ripe, sweet ripe tamarind, dark and luscious to eat. But more often it is green, unripe tamarind. The green tamarind has the most intense sour taste that you can imagine. It is eaten as a snack in India with salt and chilli – a hard but padded surface next to you is essential, to bang your fist on when the tartness fully hits you 🤣.

I love to capture that tartness, or the essence of it, by making a Tamarind Molasses (aka Tamarind Syrup). While I make this most of all with the green Tamarind pods, the recipe can also be used for ripe pods.

If you wanted to you can even make this from a block of dried Tamarind or some Tamarind Concentrate. See the recipe notes. It won’t be AS good as using pods, but will still be amazing.

Similar Recipes include Pomegranate Molasses and Quince Molasses.

Browse all of our Tamarind dishes. Or browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Life-Changing Fried Cauliflower with Mint and Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Some vegetables that have a poor reputation because they have been over cooked or over-boiled in the past, have redeemed their reputations through roasting or frying. I am thinking of Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower particularly, also Broccoli. I do love Cauli and Broccoli steamed gently but I also have nightmare recollections of how my mother cooked them.

Today we have a life-altering Cauliflower recipe for you. This is REALLY GOOD, and you won’t believe it is vegetarian. Fool your friends!

In this recipe, cauliflower is deep fried in a spicy batter and breadcrumbs, then it is dipped in a sauce made from herbs and tamarind. The original recipe is one of Ottolenghi‘s from Plenty More, but I have changed the batter so that it does not contain eggs. Chickpea flour batter makes an excellent batter for deep frying and we have used that. I have also made the batter spicy and left the breadcrumbs plain. We always feel free to substitute ingredients in Ottolenghi recipes that are not readily available in our local area, or to massage them to suit what is available in our garden and pantry. Seek out his original recipe in the book to compare – I can’t find a version online.

Similar recipes include Tamarind Molasses, Tray Baked Veg with Pomegranate Molasses, Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, Cauliflower Fry, and Crispy Cauliflower with Capers.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here and here are the recipes from Plenty More. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Vendakkai Puli Kootu | Okra Tamarind Kootu

Okra is so very good in the shops right now, as I write, so I grabbed some from the Asian market in my last shopping trip. Lovely thin, tender, long spears of goodness – how we love them.

You will love this recipe. It is as simple as Indian cooking can get. The okra is sliced and cooked with tamarind, green chillies and a little toor dal. Other recipes will add tomatoes, onions, garlic, sambar powder or other spices, coconut, etc, but I prefer this simple, honest preparation from the Palghat (Palakkad) area of Kerala. I have made it quite thick, as you can see, as I prefer it that way, but you can have more sauce if you prefer. I found this approach in the book Classic Tamil Brahman Cuisine by Viji Varadarajan.

Similar recipes include Pumpkin Kootu with Coconut, Cluster Bean Kootu, Okra Patia, Bhindi Bhaji, and Okra Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Kerala recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Tamarind Summer Cooler

Another great Summer Cooler is made with tamarind – that sweet-sour and ubiquitous Indian souring agent. If you can find fresh tamarind, go the whole way and make your own tamarind paste – it is worth the effort.

The tamarind paste is mixed with sugar syrup and tasted to get the perfect balance of sweet and sour. In the photo, we have also used dried barberries that have soaked in the sugar syrup. Not only do they look festive, they also have a delightful sweet-sour flavour that compliments the drink very well.

It is interesting how tamarind coolers feature around the world, from the Nam Makham of Thailand to the Agua Fresca de Tamarindo from Mexico.

Similar recipes include Tamarind Molasses, the Ultimate Pineapple Juice and Coconut Cooler, Ginger Cooler, Pandan Cooler, and Jal Jeera.

You might like to read 40 of our Best Coolers for Summer.

Browse all of our Coolers and Indian Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Grilled Corn on the Cob with Miso Tamarind Mayonnaise

As I write, sweetcorn is very cheap, so we have been indulging ourselves in sweetcorn dishes. Such a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, simmered, grilled, roasted and pureed. In particular, corn on the cob is a special snack, bringing back memories of childhood and eating corn fresh from the vegetable garden, the juicy corns as sweet as sweet can be.

For this recipe, the corn is blanched then char grilled before being smothered in a mayonnaise with tamarind and miso. It is delicious. I use an eggless mayo as we do not cook with eggs, but use the base mayo that you prefer. I will leave that to your choice. The tamarind and miso mayonnaise is utterly delicious!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

In fact it is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Miso Vegetables and Rice with Sesame Dressing, Roasted Sweetcorn and Avocado Salad, and Sweetcorn and Tomato Salad with Greens.

Browse all of our Sweetcorn recipes and our Miso dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Making Tamarind Paste from Tamarind Pods

Don’t you L O V E tamarind? I am not sure what I would do without this ingredient in the kitchen. While others rave about black garlic, it is the commonly available tamarind that gives that umami taste to my dishes. As a added bonus, it is at once sweet and sour. Oh, the delights of tamarind!

Occasionally, fresh tamarind pods are available at our Indian and Asian groceries. Sometimes we just nibble the tamarind from the pod, and sometimes we make tamarind paste for our Indian food, and a Mexican Summery cooling drink from the fresh paste. Win-Win.

The origin of the name comes from tamar-e-hind, which means fruit of India  or date of India. It was called this in the Arab countries although it is a native of Northern Africa. Its arrival in India shows of healthy trade routes between Africa, the Middle East and the Sub Continent. The fruit was well known to the ancient Egyptians and to the Greeks in the 4th Century BCE, and is now commonly grown and used in used in India (where it is called imli in Hindi), Africa, Mexico, the Philippines, the Caribbean and throughout South East Asia.

Similar recipes include Eggplant in Tamarind Leaf Paste, Sticky Tamarind and Kaffir Lime Leaf Tofu, and Okra in Tamarind Sauce.

Browse all of our Tamarind recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Sticky Makrut (Kaffir) and Tamarind Tofu

Sadly, many people believe tofu is boring. Perhaps recipes like this one are secret, locked away from view unless you have the password or know the secret phrase to say. An easy dish to make, the tofu is marinated in tamarind, kaffir leaf and lemongrass with sweet soy sauce for half an hour, and then sauteed until it forms a crust on the outside. The marinade is reduced to a sticky sauce which coats the seared tofu.

Similar recipes include Tamarind Molasses, Thai Silken Tofu with Bean Sprouts and Broth, Curry Laksa with Fried Tofu, Black Pepper Tofu, Baked Marinated Tofu, and Deep Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce.

Browse all of our Tofu recipes and all of our Asian dishes. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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