How To Make Tamarind Paste

Making Tamarind Paste at home is simple and better without any preservatives. Use it to make savory dishes, candies, paletas, margaritas, agua fresca and more!

This recipe is also known Tamarind Concentrate or Tamarind Pulp and is made with only two ingredients!

A spoon taking paste from a glass jar.

Tamarind is a tropical fruit grown in many countries in the Caribbean, India, Thailand, and Mexico. The pods have a sticky pulp inside which is removed from around the seeds.

It is a culinary staple in these parts of the world and it’s used as an additive flavor in cooking. The fruit is very acidic which adds a tart, sweet, or sour taste to dishes and drinks.

In Mexico we use Tamarindo to make Agua Fresca, Paletas (popsicles), raspados (slushies), Margaritas, Candies, Chamoy, savory dishes prepared in a sauce and many more!

Tamarindo pods on a white plate.

How to select the best ones

When buying tamarindos in pods, select the ones that have the entire shells. Some of them are open already and you can see inside if the pulp looks dry or still has the dark brown pulp. These are the ones you need to buy!

How To Make Tamarind Paste

  • Remove the skin from tamarinds along with any big strings attached to the fruit. Cut each tamarind into several pieces with your hands.
  • Rinse quickly on a colander with cold water to remove any dusty spots.
  • Place in a medium bowl and add 2 cups of hot water. Cover with a lid or a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Cooked tamarinds with seeds on a colander. A hand squeezing the pulp out.

In another medium bowl, place a strainer and add the tamarinds with the cooked water. Mash it with a spatula or your clean hands to squeeze the juice/pulp out of the seeds and the hard fiber. Push down the pulp thru the strainer to extract all of the tamarind pulp.

  • Add a little more water at the time (no more than 1 cup water) to strain any remaining pulp. Scrape off any pulp attached to the outside/bottom of the strainer.
  • Discard the tamarind fiber and seeds.
A metal bowl with brown paste and a colander on the side with seeds.
  • In a medium sauce pan, add the tamarind pulp from the bowl.
  • Bring to a soft boil and then lower heat to medium low. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool down completely.
  • Store in glass jars with an airtight lid in refrigerator. Keeps for about 60 days in fridge and up to 6 months in freezer.

Uses For Tamarind

Tamarind is very popular in Mexico and is used in more ways than I can count. It’s also very popular in other Latin American, the Caribbean, Thailand & Indian recipes.

  • Drinks
  • Candies
  • Desserts
  • Savory Dishes
  • Salad Dressings
  • Sauces

A popular Thai recipe that uses tamarind is Pad Thai and also happens to be my favorite!

Tamarindo Paste in a small glass jar with a spoon in it.

I hope you enjoy this recipe my friends and that you make something yummy!

Wish you all the best! Xo, Ana

Tamarindo Paste in a small glass jar with a spoon in it.

How To Make Tamarind Paste

Servings 1.5 cups
Ana Frias
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Making Tamarind Paste at home is simple and better without any preservatives. Use it to make candies, paletas, margaritas, agua fresca and more! 
1.5 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 10 to 12  large fresh tamarind pods
  • 3 cups water

Instructions
 

  • Remove the skin from tamarinds along with any big strings attached to the fruit. Cut each tamarind into several pieces with your hands
  • Rinse quickly on a colander with cold water to remove any dusty spots.
  • Place in a medium bowl and add 2 cups of hot water. Cover with a lid or a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • In another medium bowl, place a strainer and add the tamarinds with the cooked water. Mash it with a spatula or your clean hands to squeeze the juice/pulp out of the seeds and the hard fiber. Push down the pulp thru the strainer to extract all of the tamarind pulp.
  • Add a little more water at the time (no more than 1 cup water) to strain any remaining pulp. Scrape off any pulp attached to the outside/bottom of the strainer. Discard the tamarind fiber and seeds.
  • In a medium sauce pan, add the tamarind pulp from the bowl.
  • Bring to a soft boil and then lower heat to medium low. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool down completely.
  • Store in glass jars with an airtight lid in refrigerator. Keeps for 1 month in fridge and up to 6 months in freezer.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

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NUTRITION

Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Sodium: 4mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

Tamarindo Paste in a small glass jar and whole tamarind pods on the side.

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