Tamarind water is easy to make and store.
Look for tamarind pulp sold in blocks in Asian markets.
To make about 1.5 cups (12 fl oz / 375 ml)
tamarind water, cut up 1/2 pound (250g) of the pulp into small pieces,
place in a bowl, and add 2 cups (16 fl oz / 500ml) boiling water.
Mash the pulp to separate the
fibers and seeds, then let stand for 15 minutes, stirring two or three
Pour the liquid through a
fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl, pushing against the pulp with the
back of a spoon and scraping the underside of the sieve to dislodge the
Transfer to a jar and refrigerate
for up to 4 days or freeze in an ice-cube tray for up to 1 month.
A tamarind concentrate, which
dissolves instantly in hot water, is also available in some Asian
markets and can be used in a pinch.
Tamarind 101 - In the
searing heat of a Ho Chi Minh City afternoon, residents sometimes take
refuge under the spreading tamarind trees that line many of the streets.
The sickle-shaped, thin-skinned
fruit pods that hang from the branches are an invaluable ingredient
throughout Southeast Asia.
The pods contain a fruity,
slightly citric sour pulp that is pressed into a liquid that is used in
soups, salads, curries, meats, and fish dishes.