The Best Simple Tamarind Paste Substitutes

tamarind paste substitutes

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

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x