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What is tamarind paste?

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Quick Answer

Tamarind paste is a thick, sweetened paste made from the fleshy fruit of the tropical tamarind tree. The paste is used extensively in Thai, Indian, Mexican and Jamaican cuisine. Tamarind paste is an ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

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Full Answer

Tamarind flesh is naturally sour, so it is always sweetened before use. In Thailand, tamarind paste is used to season pad Thai noodles and green papaya salad. In India, tamarind is used to flavor sambhar, rasam and some chutneys. Jamaican cooks use tamarind paste to season jerk chicken.

Tamarind paste is typically available at Asian specialty stores or in the Mexican section of local supermarkets. As of March 2015, an assortment of jars, tubs and blocks of tamarind paste is also available at Amazon.com.

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