How to Prepare Tamarind Paste

A quick video to show you how I extract tamarind paste from a block. Tamarind is used quite extensively in Malaysian and Southeast Asian cooking, so this is something that’s handy to make in batches and freeze.

Fun facts about tamarind –

1) Tamarind is a sour fruit, the pulp of which is used in a lot of Southeast Asian recipes.

2) You can find tamarind in the form of blocks at Asian or Indian grocery stores.

3) Ready-made tamarind paste is also available in jars but they come in varying levels of concentration from very sour pastes to more diluted, pourable forms.

4) Tamarind blocks are either with seed or seedless; both types need to be prepared the same way before using.

5) Substitutes for tamarind depending on recipe – lemon juice, vinegar, asam keping (garcinia atroviridis), belimbing buloh (averrhoa bilimbi), green mango etc.


1) Remove wrapper and place block of tamarind pulp in saucepan.

2) Cover with water and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer 10 minutes, covered.

3) While simmering, use a wooden spoon to help break up the tamarind.

4) Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Transfer to a sieve.

5) Use a spatula to scrape tamarind through the sieve into bowl.

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