Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet Tamarind Sauce


Completely fascinated by the shape, texture and earthiness of the tamarind pod, I often make a reduction sauce with the addition of black plums and red grapes. Once cooled I bottle and store the sauce in the refrigerator, pulling it out whenever I need exotic Indian flavors.

Reduced further it makes a delicious paste that can be added to minced onions, cilantro, red chile and cumin for meats and sauces.

I usually start with 10 pods of cleaned tamarind, cover the fruit with water, add whole fresh garlic and shallot, a piece of dried red chile, a tbsp. of fish sauce, 2 tbsp of sugar, 3 skinned and halved black plums, a clump of red grapes, chinese chives, 2 tbsp. cumin powder, 1 tbsp of dark soy and a tbsp. of chutney powder or ginger powder.

I cook the mixture for about a half hour on medium heat, reducing it by half. Once cooled I put it through a manual food mill, separating the seeds and pulp from the liquid. I'm left with a thick, dark sauce that takes dishes to a whole new level!
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