I picked up some tamarind paste when we visited Chgo John (from the Bartolini Kitchens) last summer and he took us to his favourite Asian shops. I’m sure this paste can be purchased in any number of Asian stores in Toronto, but the romance of bringing back an exotic ingredient was just too strong to ignore. Everytime I use this paste (and any number of other amazing ingredients I procured during that visit) I think fondly of our visit with John that day.
If you haven’t tried tamarind, I strongly urge you to do so, it is quite a flavour experience unlike anything else you’ve ever tried.
The tamarind paste was used as a sauce for the onion bhajis I made for the recent Indian feast for our neighbours.
Tamarind Chutney for Onion Bhajis
Makes about 1/3 cup
- 1 teaspoon concentrated tamarind paste
- 2-4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 3 dried apricots (original recipe called for papaya powder which I did not have)
- 1 cup water
- In a small heavy bottom sauce pan, add the tamarind paste, apricot and sugar. Add about 1 cup of hot water to it and heat to a boil until the tamarind paste dissolves and the apricot is mushy. Blend well with an immersion blender. Strain out any hard bits from the tamarind paste.
- Add chili powder and mix well. Boil until all of the water evaporates and you are left with a thick rich sauce.