Friday, October 21, 2011

VeganMoFo 21: Fresh Tamarind is my BFF

Today's Spice is: Tamarind!

I brought home this beautiful organic tamarind from India, and it's so wonderful. I am in love with it and I am going to marry it. Before buying this bag, I had only ever used tamarind paste from a jar - but the flavor I got from using fresh tamarind has made me an eternal convert. It's really easy: the recipe might call for a "lemon-sized" ball of tamarind. First you soak it in some warm water, and then pour off the water and press the pulp through a sieve - to keep out the fibrous material and seeds. Mmm, tamarind is amazing! Sweet and sour and earthy and tangy all at once.
islands in the stream, that is what we are

With my magical tamarind goo, I made Sweet-and-Sour Tempeh with Peanuts, from World Vegetarian. Oh My Freaking Freakster! This was so good. I skipped deep frying the tempeh bits and instead just dry-fried them. Then they are cooked in a puree of shallots, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, hot peppers, and of course tamarind. The end result is extremely rich, dense with exciting flavors, and crazy delicious. Alongside a batch of Cabbage with Garlic & Shallots (also from World Vegetarian), and a big batch of rice, this was truly an exceptional dinner. One for the history books!

Grapes for dessert, which was perfect.

10 comments:

  1. I agree,fresh tamarind is definitely better than the jarred stuff. That looks like a spectacular, sweet-tangy-savory meal!

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  2. Oh, yum! Josh processed fresh tamarind into paste once (also for use in something from World Vegetarian though I don't recall what) and hated the process so much that we've always bought it in a jar since then. But you kind of make me want to try again...

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  3. Looks and sounds fab. We can buy tamarind pods here but that's not what you're talking about is it?? I must delve into this some more, I've only ever used the jarred stuff myself.

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  4. This looks like an absolutely heavenly meal!

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  5. I've never actually had any sort of tamarind (that I know of, at least...) but I'm so intrigued by the whole dried pods! Now I want to try out all sorts of tamarind recipes and get a feel for the flavor, at least

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  6. I love tamarind. I have the paste kind, though. I did once have the kind you have here, but didn't know about the seeds. Dinner was precarious that night, having to try and avoid breaking a tooth on it. ;)

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  7. Tamarind is probably my favourite ingredient. I'm going to mark this recipe in my copy of World Vegetarian right now!

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  8. Can i be one of your tamarind bride's maids???

    puleeeeeeeeze.

    xo
    kittee

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  9. The tempeh dish sounds so delicious! And, I love your drawing, but I have to say that the tamarind reminded me a little of Mr. Hanky from South Park...

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