What Is Tamarind Sauce Made Of? (Key Ingredients)

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Have you found yourself wondering what tamarind sauce is made of? Maybe you want to make your own tamarind sauce but aren’t sure what the key ingredients are?

Or are you curious and want to know more? No matter what your reason might be, we are here with the answers for you! 

What Is Tamarind Sauce Made Of? (Key Ingredients)

Finding out what tamarind sauce is made of can be tricky, especially if you have never made it before.

You head online but are met with a sea of conflicting and contradicting advice. Frustrated and disappointed, you wonder if you will ever know what tamarind sauce is and be able to make it yourself. 

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out what tamarind sauce is made of, the key ingredients, and everything else you need to know about the sauce.

What Is Tamarind Sauce?

Before we dive into today’s article, let’s have a quick recap for those that need it.

Tamarind sauce is a sweet and sour sauce used in Indian, Latin American, and African cuisine. The sauce is often used as a dipping sauce or served with appetizers. 

If you are looking for a wonderful sweet and sour sauce, it is an excellent one to try.

There are some variations of the sauce, with spicier versions existing, but the sweet and sour flavor always remains true in traditional recipes. 

You will see tamarind sauce often used in other recipes too, adding some sweetness or sour taste to a dish.

It is often added to soups, chutneys, or even juices! It is a versatile ingredient that will heighten flavors in savory and sweet dishes. 

It’s no wonder that tamarind is so popular! 

Now that we have briefly established what tamarind sauce is, let’s move on to see what it is made out of and how you can use it! 

What Is Tamarind Sauce Made Of?

Let’s get straight into it! The main ingredient of tamarind sauce is the tamarind fruit. The fruit is either used as a paste, concentrate, juice, or as pulp. You get a sweet and sour taste from the fruit, giving it an exotic and familiar taste. 

But it isn’t just the fruit used to make the sauce! Spices, vegetables, and baking powder go into creating a delicious tamarind sauce!

Let’s take a look at the key ingredients used now. It’s worth noting that these will change slightly depending on the recipe that you follow, but you should generally see some or all of these ingredients being used. 

Key Ingredients Of Tamarind Sauce

Below is a quick list of the key ingredients used in tamarind sauce! Remember, how people use the tamarind fruit varies.

Some will use the pods and bust them open, others will work with pulp, juice, or even as a paste!

Typically, a tamarind sauce uses: 

  • Tamarind fruit 
  • Baking soda 
  • Salt 
  • Garlic 
  • Onion
  • Cilantro or chadon beni
  • Cane sugar 
  • Cumin 
  • Boiling water 

As you can see, the list of ingredients isn’t that long! You can adjust this too, to suit your taste preferences if you prefer.

Some people might want to add more sugar to increase the sweetness, or you might want to add more cumin to create a spicier sauce.

The ingredients might differ from a store-bought sauce. You might see additives that will help to improve the longevity of the sauce.

You would not need to do that for a homemade sauce, but it’s something to be aware of if you are purchasing it in-store and thrown off by the long ingredients list! 

What Is Tamarind Sauce Made Of? (Key Ingredients)

How To Make Tamarind Sauce 

Now that we know what is in tamarind sauce, let’s look at how we can make it!

The recipe we are using includes the ingredients listed above and can be made in nine easy steps. Let’s take a look at it now! 

  1. Take a large glass bowl and add tamarind pods (around 8), and baking soda (½ teaspoon) and pour over 1 ½ cups of boiling water.
  2. Next, stir with a wooden spoon, mixing the baking soda well. Leave to sit for 30 minutes. 
  3. Use the wooden spoon to whisk and break the tamarind flesh from the seeds. 
  4. Remove the seeds once the flesh has been separated from them.
  5. Pour the pulp into a saucepan. Place it on a medium heat. 
  6. Allow the pulp to come to a simmer before adding salt (½ teaspoon), grated onion (¼), minced garlic (2 cloves), cumin (½ teaspoon), and sugar (to taste).
  7. Leave the mixture to simmer for five minutes on a low heat. Then, add your cilantro or chadon beni (1 tablespoon) and stir. 
  8. To finish, remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool. 
  9. Once it has cooled, you can serve the sauce! 

This recipe is ideal for anyone using the sauce as a dip for appetizers! Or you can now add the sauce to other recipes to give them a sweet and sour taste.

This could be added to a soup, or your favorite noodle dish to add a unique flavor. 

What Is Tamarind Sauce Used For?

Tamarind sauce is often used as a dip with snacks or appetizers or it is added to other sauces where you want a sweet and sour flavor.

You might serve the tamarind sauce with cauliflower wings, nachos, potato wedges, or even samosas.

The possibilities are endless here! Anything you think would benefit from a sweet and sour sauce can be dipped in. 

You can also use it in pad thai sauce, marinades, curry sauces, soups, or even as a worcester sauce.

Tamarind sauce is a wonderful addition to dishes where you want to add an intense flavor, sweetness, or some sour taste to the dish! 

The sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used in any way you want!

We have seen people drizzle it over salads, serve it with appetizers, or add a spoonful into their curries.

You can also create a chutney with the sauce, which makes the perfect dipping companion! 

As a paste, it is often added to thick cuts of beef before cooking. This helps to soften the meat beforehand and is why it’s one of the main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce!

Once you are aware of tamarind sauce and the tamarind fruit, it is surprising where you will find it! 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! Tamarind sauce is made mainly of tamarind fruit, which can be prepared in several ways.

The fruit can be pulped, pureed, used as a paste, or even a juice! When combined with some seasoning, water, spices, and baking powder, it can be transformed into a sweet and sour sauce that has endless uses! 

Whether you want to use the sauce on its own or add it to other sauces to create unique and tasty dishes, we are sure you will love tamarind sauce.

Don’t forget to check out the recipe we have included to create your own sauce in no time at all!