Looking for an alternative to Tamarind Paste or Tamarind Puree? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Tamarind Paste substitutes.
What is Tamarind Paste?
Tamarind Paste is a unique sour, slightly sweet pulp made from the seed pods of the tamarind tree. It’s used in Indian, Malaysian, Phillipino, INdonesian and Thai cusisine to provide sourness and freshenss to curries. It’s also used in Mexico and the Middle East.
The ingredients in commercial tamarind paste can include tamarind, water, acidity regulator (330), preservative (211).
The Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes
1. Lime or Lemon Juice
While I have used tamarind in the past, these days I prefer to keep my pantry more simple so if I’m cooking something that calls for tamarind my first go-to is a squeeze of lime juice. If I want a touch of sweetness as well I add a little honey or maple syrup.
2. Balsamic Vinegar
This isn’t an obvious choice, but there are a lot of similarities between the sweet acidity or balsamic and tamarind puree.
3. Worcestershire Sauce
Tamarind is one of the ingredients of Worcestershire sauce so this idea isn’t as ‘out there’ as it seems.
4. Tomato Ketchup
With more sweetness than sourness ketchup isn’t an exact match but it will give a lot of the complexity you get from tamarind.
5. Coconut Aminos
Coconut Aminos are a coconut based version of soy sauce. They are more swwet and salty than tamarind but will be better than nothing.
6. Leave it Out
If you are making a complex curry with lots of other ingredients, you probably aren’t going to miss the tamarind.
How to Store Tamarind Paste
Unopened jars keep in the pantry for ages. Once the jar is opened though pop it in the fridge and it will last for months.
Tamarind Paste Flavour Pairings
- Chicken & Tamarind Paste
- Curry & Tamarind Paste
- Eggs & Tamarind Paste
- Beef & Tamarind Paste
More Ingredient Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!