How To Make Tamarind Puree

Many countries use tamarind as a key ingredient for sauces, drinks, sweets and condiments. This recipe teaches you how to transform the sticky pulpy mass of fruit into a delicious, tangy puree that can be used for any recipe calling for tamarind.

straining tamarind puree

The Different Ways to Buy Tamarind

There are a few different ways to find tamarind in the market. Here's what it may look like:

  • Whole Pods: this is the way that tamarind comes when taken off the tree. If you buy tamarind like this, simply remove the outer shell and strings holding the pod together before starting this recipe. What's more, you will often find whole bulk tamarind in the Latin or Asian Markets.
  • Seedless Bricks: this is the most common way to find tamarind and the one I use in this recipe. In fact, these bricks are found at almost every Indian and Asian market. They are seedless bricks of tamarind pulp, without the shells and seeds, and make for quick processing.
  • Tamarind Puree: you can actually buy tamarind puree already made. However, I am not a fan of the flavor in these prepared purees. When you're short on time, using a jar of pre-made tamarind puree can be a convenient alternative. And although this may be true, I would hesitate to use this for any drink where the flavor of the fruit is key. For me, the flavor tastes more jammy and not as clean in these jarred products.
What is Tamarind Puree Used For?

Tamarind puree is a great base for many sauces, like this Tamarind Date Chutney. The sauce goes so well with these Down & Dirty Masala Smashed Potatoes and really almost any Indian inspired dish. It can also be mixed with water and sugar to make a refreshing cold Refresco to beat the summer heat!


straining tamarind puree

Tamarind Puree

Tamarind is a tangy sweet fruit that grows in pod form. When softened and strained it creates a wonderful puree that can be used for sauces and drinks.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Recipes- Condiments
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 cups
Calories 271 kcal




  • The tamarind will come in a brick-like package. Open up the package and break it apart with your hands into smaller pieces.
  • Place the tamarind in a 4-quart saucepot and add the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When done, the pods will be soft and falling apart. Turn off the heat and mash with a wooden spoon to break up the pods even more.
  • Push the tamarind through a strainer into a bowl, rubbing the pulp against the sides of the strainer to get as much pulp as possible.
  • Scrape the outside of the strainer so that you get all of the strained pulp that sticks to the sides.
  • Throw away any stripped seeds and strands as you go to make room for more.
  • Continue until all of the tamarind is pushed through the strainer and all seeds and scraps are discarded.
  • When finished, you will have a smooth brown paste with some water in it. It will be very tart.
  • Stir together and store chilled until ready to use.


This recipe is a bulk concentrated recipe.  Blend with other ingredients to make sauces or beverages.


Serving: 4cupsCalories: 271kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 49mgPotassium: 712mgFiber: 6gSugar: 44gVitamin A: 34IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 3mg
Keyword tamarind, tamarind puree
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