Tamarind Sauce, with its irresistible sweet and tangy taste, is your ticket to authentic Indian flavor! Infused with the zest of ginger and the warmth of cumin, this beloved dip is crafted from the richness of dried seedless tamarind and the sweetness of jaggery, seasoned with the classic spices of India.
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Ingredients and Substitutions Overview
You'll need simple ingredients for this Tamarind Sauce, readily available at most Indian grocery stores.
- Tamarind: I've used dried seedless tamarind, but feel free to use tamarind with seeds if that's what you have on hand.
- Jaggery: Jaggery Powder provides the sauce with its sweetness and stickiness.
- Ginger Powder: Adds warmth to the sauce and aids in digestion. For extra heat, I've included chili flakes, which are optional.
- Cumin Seeds: They infuse the sauce with a fresh aroma and also help in digestion.
- Oil: Used for tempering the sauce. Choose any cooking oil you prefer.
How to make Tamarind Sauce?
Get ready to add a tangy twist to your meals with our simple tamarind sauce recipe. We've got you covered with easy-to-follow instructions, helpful images, and a handy video guide in our recipe below.
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- ½ lb Tamarind, seedless
- 2 cups Water
- 2 tsp Oil
- ½ cup Jaggery Powder
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Ginger Powder
- ½ tsp Chili Flakes, optional
- Salt, as needed
To make Tamarind Sauce
- On medium heat, combine seedless tamarind and water in a pan and stir well.
- Let the mixture boil until the tamarind softens.
- Mash the softened tamarind until it becomes mushy, then continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and strain the mixture, collecting the tamarind liquid in a bowl. Don't discard the leftover pulp—see the recipe notes for more uses.
- In a separate pan over medium heat, heat some oil and add cumin seeds until they sizzle.
- Add the saved tamarind liquid, ginger powder, salt, and jaggery powder, stirring thoroughly.
- Let the mixture boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Optionally, you can add chili flakes at this point.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce becomes thick and sticky. Once done, remove from heat.
Chef's Notes and Tips
- Tamarind Choice - While I've used dried seedless tamarind, you can opt for tamarind concentrate. If using concentrate, dilute with water and then blend with jaggery and other ingredients until you achieve a thick, sticky consistency.
- Sweetness Factor - For the authentic flavor of Indian Tamarind Sauce, jaggery powder is the best choice.
- Heat Intensity - This versatile sauce is designed for both dipping and cooking. As a result, I've omitted chat masala, chili powder, and amchur powder which are typically included in a dipping variant.
- Using Leftover Tamarind - Don't discard any remaining tamarind concentrate or pulp. Store it in the refrigerator and use it in recipes like rasam, sambar, chutney, and other curries that require tamarind.
Disclaimer: We’re not nutrition experts. Nutritional info is estimated and should be used as a guide. For precise details, consult a professional.
How to Use this Sauce?
- Pair this Tamarind Sauce with snacks like samosas, vadas. Additionally, it serves as a flavorful condiment in traditional dishes such as sambar, rasam.
- You can also use it alongside street food stars like Samosa Chaat, and Aloo chaat, or as a condiment in both veg curries and non-veg curries such as fish curry, lamb vindaloo, and chicken ghee roast to infuse that distinct spark.
For lasting freshness, keep this sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate. It'll stay delectable for up to 4 months.