A note on tamarindPosted: 12 August 2011
Just a quick note to say that simmering the tamarind isn’t the best way to process it. My grocery store also has tamarind in these blocks which are plastic wrapped and then in a bag. It says prominently on the bag that they’re seedless but they’re definitely not. I think they also have bits of the seed pods mixed in as well.
I pulled off chunks of the paste from the block and put them in a little jar, then boiled some water and poured just enough over it to cover it. After it soaked for a few hours I stirred it and mashed it in the jar, then spooned out a bit and put it in a strainer and mashed it through the strainer. Left behind in the strainer were either seeds or some unidentifiable flat stuff, which I think are pieces of the seed pods. This has a much better flavor than the first batch which was simmered on the stove; that had a weird soapy sort of aftertaste. But that was also from whole pods which I’d peeled; who knows, maybe the bits of pod that are in the block improve the flavor?
This stuff is very sour. My idea of using it in Greek yogurt doesn’t seem like it would work so well now that I think about it. I think it would just make the yogurt very sour and not add much flavor, or I’d have to add a ton of sugar to it.