How to Make Tamarind Sauce


Tamarind Sauce is a sweet and sour chutney from India.  I call it a sauce because it’s thinner and more liquid than common chutneys.  It’s often served with poppadom, a crispy round wafer.

Tamarind sauce is hard to find in stores in the US.  Since my husband and I love it, I decided to learn how to make it myself.  First we inquired at an Indian restaurant we go to.  The lady there told me to find tamarind pulp. This is the base of the recipe.

Tamarind Pulp can be found in Indian stores.  So can garam masala, a spice you’ll need.  Once you have these ingredients, it’s easy to make this sauce.


1 cup (about 7 oz.) Tamarind Pulp
1 1/2 cups Hot Water
6 T. Brown Sugar
2 t. Garam Masala
1 t. Ginger Powder
2 t. Cumin
1/8 t. Cayenne Pepper
1/4 t + 1/8 t. Salt
Cinnamon to Taste (optional)

1. Put the Tamarind Pulp in a bowl with the hot water and break it up with a spoon. Let it soak for 30 minutes. 


2. After soaking the tamarind, strain the mixture into a small pot.  While it’s straining, smush the pulp with a spoon against the strainer to help the thick juice to go through the strainer.


3.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer until thickened.


You can serve Tamarind Sauce with poppadoms or samosas.


Here’s a video about baking poppadam…


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011 at 11:46 am and is filed under Condiments, Countries & Cultures, India, Inidan Cuisine, Recipes of the World, Tamarind Sauce. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

13 Responses to “How to Make Tamarind Sauce”

  1. sara Says:

    I love tamarindo!
    Anyone wanna hear my songs in Spanish? There’s one special for mother’s day! Take a listen!

  2. Lisa Says:

    Purabi wrote from Bangladesh:

    “I love tamarind chutney very much! Do u know tamarind reduces high blood pressure to some extent? In our childhood we (with friends) used to eat the green tamarind only with salt. Its too sour to bite! But we loved it! Childhood is like this-one can find joy in all things!”

    Thanks for sharing Purabi!

  3. Uly Says:

    Garam Masala is not a spice, it is term for a type of spice blend. There are many many (many!) different ways of making it, not counting the fact that different families have their own ideas. I have a book at home, 660 Indian Curries (which is awesome and every household should have a copy), that has a whole section devoted to different types of garam masala used in various recipes. None of them match up with the one type listed in another Indian cookbook I own.

    You really ought to learn to make your own fresh at home. All you need is a spice grinder and the raw ingredients, and it’ll be fresh every time, plus you can vary it for different tastes. You don’t really want your food to be the same every time, do you?

  4. Lisa Says:

    It’s true that garam masala is made from a combination of spices (I mentioned this in the video I’m working on). But, if you’re pressed for time or new to Indian cooking, you can buy it premixed. We often make such involved meals that we don’t always have the time to mix it… though sometimes we do! In either case, the tamarind sauce was perfect!

    Thanks for the cookbook recommendation for 660 Indian Curries – I ordered it!

  5. Uly Says:

    Truthfully, I cheat by… premaking my own favorite three versions in big batches that last about a month. (I mean, presumably they’d last twice as long in a sealed container, but that’s the sort of cooking we mostly like.)

  6. Lisa Says:

    Are your versions in the cookbook?

  7. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    Purabi Khisa Tandra wrote the following from Bangladesh after I asked if they eat poppadom there:

    “I think we do eat poppadom here in BD but it has different name. We call it ‘papor’. Readymade papors r found at d shops, we just fry it n eat as a snack. It goes well with afternoon tea. So far i know its made of lentil, rice powder n semolina as well.

  8. Uly Says:

    Two of them. The third is in one of Madhur Jaffrey’s books, the one with this awesome recipe for “dry” okra.

  9. Uly Says:

  10. toni Says:

    The sauce was AWESOME!!
    I will be making it always from now on and thank you !!

  11. bjorg Says:

    I like cooking so I would like to get recipe

  12. Teresa Says:

    Great recipe! I’ve made this several times now and it is always tasty. I’ve make the sauce and added butter, then basted it on grilled meat for a wonderful alternative to bbq sauce.


  13. Lisa Says:

    Great idea Teresa! Thanks for sharing.

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