Sunday, September 16, 2012

Where to buy tamarind pastes –Thai tamarind concentrate

Tamarind paste (or in Thai-Makham Peak) is one of the most important and versatile ingredients in Thai cuisine. Thais use tamarind paste in many recipes. For example eggs with tamarind sauce, shrimp with tamarind sauce, pad Thai, pork rib with tamarind sauce etc. We also use it for dipping recipes or curry pastes. Some add tamarind paste in Massaman curry to make the flavor more umami. We use Tamarind paste to make tamarind juice, a best beverage in my opinion in any hot summer days. Ancient Thai used it to polish silver utensils or to wash slime of squid. It also a medicinal fruit employed by many Asian traditional herbalists as a laxative. Some Thai girls even use this food ingredient as a mixture for making scrub and face mask! You can easily see how useful tamarind paste in Thai culture.
Thai tamarind paste review
Thai tamarind concentrate
Since tamarind is a seasonal fruit, it is hard to find in the out of season. Even you have found one the price would be so high, hence Thai usually buy or make it in a paste form to keep it at the time of year when tamarind is not available.     

Thai people buy tamarind pastes from their local market. Some of them make it themselves. However, if you live abroad where tamarind is hard to find, I would suggest you to use Thai tamarind concentrate. I used it before when I was abroad. Thai tamarind concentrate contains no preservatives or artificial flavor. The color is also the natural color of tamarind paste. It’s cheap and easy to use. The taste is really good. Real one.

Some may ask what the difference between tamarind pastes and tamarind concentrate. These two products are almost the same and interchangeable except that tamarind paste usually has light brown color while the tamarind concentrate usually has dark brown.

The flavor of tamarind paste is too unique that you may find some substitute ingredients but, trust me, nothing can truly sub for it. It would not be real taste. So I would suggest you to buy one for your kitchen. Where to buy tamarind pastes or tamarind concentrate? Any Asian store near your house or buy it from via the link below. On orders more than 25 dollars they also offer you free super saver shipping! The deliver is, according to one customer review, faster than expect. They have only one size but since tamarind paste can keep in a refrigerator for months, this is not a problem. You just put some salt (may be a bag of salt to avoid contamination) over the paste to prevent the changing of tamarind paste color.

PS. You may wonder how Thai woman use tamarind paste as a face mask. This is the in recipe I got. I have to tell you that I have never use it, but if you interest, you can try it yourself. Just mix tamarind paste with 3-4 tbs. of milk and 1tbs. of honey. Mask you face for only 5-10 minutes and wash out.

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