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7 Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes

Tamarind paste is a staple in Indian cuisine and is used to add umami (a savory note) and color to many dishes.

Unfortunately, tamarind is not always readily available, making it difficult for some people to enjoy its flavors.

What do you do if tamarind isn’t an option? Here are the seven best substitutes for tamarind paste so that you can get the same flavor and texture in your food.

What’s Tamarind Paste?

Tamarind paste is a thick, dark brown paste made from tamarind fruit.

The tamarind tree is native to Africa and Asia, and the fruit has been used in these regions for centuries.

The pulp of the fruit is used to make tamarind paste, which has a sour, sweet, and slightly fruity flavor.

Tamarind paste is often used in Indian cooking as a flavoring or base for curries and other dishes.

It can also be used to make chutneys, sauces, and marinades.

The paste is available in jars or cans at most Asian markets.

To use tamarind paste, simply add it to your recipe as desired.

Start with a small amount and add more to taste.

Tamarind paste can be stored in the fridge for up to six months.

7 Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes

1. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a savory, umami-rich condiment that can be used as a tamarind paste substitute.

It has a complex flavor profile that includes vinegar, soy sauce, molasses, sugar, and spices.

While it may not taste exactly like tamarind paste, it can add a similar depth of flavor to dishes.

To substitute Worcestershire sauce for tamarind paste, start by using half the amount of Worcestershire sauce as you would tamarind paste.

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Then, add additional Worcestershire sauce to taste until you reach the desired level of flavor.

Keep in mind that Worcestershire sauce is also quite salty, so you may need to adjust the other seasonings in your dish accordingly.

If you’re looking for a tamarind paste substitute that’s easy to find and has a similar flavor profile, Worcestershire sauce is a good option.

Just be sure to start with less and add more to taste so that your dish doesn’t end up too salty.

2. Lime Juice and Brown Sugar Mix

Lime juice and brown sugar are great substitutes for tamarind paste.

The sweetness of the brown sugar pairs perfectly with the tartness of the lime juice to create a flavor that is very similar to tamarind paste.

In terms of taste, lime juice and brown sugar mix are great substitutes for tamarind paste.

The sweetness of the brown sugar pairs perfectly with the tartness of the lime juice to create a flavor that is very similar to tamarind paste.

If you’re looking to substitute tamarind paste in a recipe, simply mix together equal parts lime juice and brown sugar.

This mixture can be used in any recipe that calls for tamarind paste.

3. Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is a thick, dark syrup that is made by boiling pomegranate juice down until it becomes concentrated.

It has a tart and sweet flavor that is similar to tamarind paste.

Pomegranate molasses can be used as a substitute for tamarind paste in recipes.

It can be added to curries, stews, and marinades.

If you are using pomegranate molasses as a tamarind paste substitute, you may need to add a little extra sugar to balance out the tartness.

4. Dried Fruits and Lemon Juice Mix

Dried fruits and lemon juice mix is a great tamarind paste substitute.

This combination has a tart and sweet taste that is similar to tamarind paste.

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You can use this mixture in any recipe that calls for tamarind paste.

To make this substitute, mix together equal parts of dried fruit and lemon juice.

If you want a thinner consistency, add more lemon juice.

If you want a thicker consistency, add more dried fruit.

Taste the mixture and adjust as needed.

This substitution works best in recipes where the tamarind paste is used for its flavor and not its texture.

The texture of this mixture will be different from tamarind paste, but the flavor will be similar.

5. Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar made from rice that has been fermented.

It is commonly used in Asian cuisine, especially in Chinese and Japanese dishes.

Rice vinegar has a light, delicate flavor and is less acidic than other types of vinegar.

Tamarind paste is often used as a souring agent in Indian and Thai cuisine.

If you don’t have tamarind paste on hand, you can substitute rice vinegar in its place.

Just use the same amount of rice vinegar as you would tamarind paste.

To substitute rice vinegar for tamarind paste, simply use the same amount of rice vinegar as you would tamarind paste.

The light, delicate flavor of rice vinegar will complement the flavors in your dish without overpowering them.

6. Amchur Powder

Amchur powder is made from dried, unripe green mangoes and has a sour, tangy flavor.

It can be used as a tamarind paste substitute in curries, chutneys, and sauces.

Amchur powder is available in Indian grocery stores or online.

To substitute amchur powder for tamarind paste, use 1 teaspoon of amchur powder for every 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste.

If the recipe calls for 1 cup of tamarind paste, use 1/2 cup of amchur powder instead.

Amchur powder can also be used to make a quick and easy tamarind chutney.

Just mix 1 tablespoon of amchur powder with 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt.

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7. Marmalade

Marmalade is a fruit spread made from citrus fruits.

It is often used as a topping for toast or pancakes.

Marmalade can also be used in baking or in savory dishes.

The taste of marmalade is bittersweet and tangy.

It is made by boiling citrus fruits with sugar and water.

The fruit peel is often used to add flavor and texture to the spread.

Marmalade can be used as a substitute for tamarind paste in recipes.

It will add a similar flavor to the dish.

To use marmalade as a substitute, simply add an equal amount of the spread to the recipe in place of the tamarind paste.

Conclusion

There are plenty of substitutes for tamarind paste, depending on what you’re looking for in terms of taste and texture.

Worcestershire sauce, lime juice and brown sugar mix, pomegranate molasses, dried fruits and lemon juice mix, rice vinegar, and amchur powder are all viable substitutes.

Marmalade can also be used in a pinch.

Experiment until you find the best substitute for your needs.

Yield: 1 Serving

7 Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes

7 Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2. Lime Juice and Brown Sugar Mix
  • 3. Pomegranate Molasses
  • 4. Dried Fruits and Lemon Juice Mix
  • 5. Rice Vinegar
  • 6. Amchur Powder
  • 7. Marmalade

Instructions

  1. Select your favorite ingredient from the list above to use as a substitute.
  2. Follow the instructions and use the exact ratio of ingredients as directed.
  3. This will help to ensure that your dish turns out just as delicious as it would have with the original ingredient.
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