Thursday, July 03, 2008

10 Simple South Indian Tamarind recipes

Tamar – e – Hind, the Dates of India, probably meant as a slur to contrast this sour fruit with the sweet Arabian dates, has stuck on as the name for this delightful fruit on which most Andhra, Tamilnadu and Karnataka curries are built. “Tamarind trees are very common in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh”. In coastal Andhra, Kosta, tamarind is much loved and is added to just about anything. It is here you’ll find tamarind eaten raw and even young tamarind leaves being used in curries. Tamarind has been a part of Tamil cuisine for centuries.

Apart from South India, India tamarind is used in African, South-east Asian, Thai and Latin American cuisines.

The Sinigang (Philippine sour lamb stew) , Khalia (Georgian spicy beef stew), Bamia (Kuwaiti Lamb Stew), (Tom Kha Kai (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup) , the Swahili Mchuzi wa Samaki (Fish Curry) and Mchuzi wa Kamba ( Shrimp curry) - all use Tamarind.

Tamarind flesh varies from very sweet to very sour. In South-east Asia, a very sweet tamarind (makahm wahn) is eaten like a fruit. You can try cooking up all these recipes below with a variety of tamarind and each would give you a different tasting recipe.

This one page cookbook lists 10 easy to cook tamarind recipes. They are heavily simplified for the first time cook. For detailed recipes and delightful variations check out my fellow bloggers below:
Thenga Thogayal (Coconut- Tamarind blended curry) popular across South India is just a blend of coconut, tamarind and red chilies.

2.: Airawat (Tamarind – Dates blended curry) is a unique sweet and sour Konkan/ Karnataka recipe blending tamarind and dates together.

3.: Thenga Milaga Podi (Tamarind – coconut - chili powder) , a dry powder popular across South India, is a blend of roasted coconut, red chilies and tamarind. Roasted pulses can also be blended together for a crunchier texture.

4.: Pacchi Charu (Raw tamarind curry) could only come from Andhra, which loves tamarind so much that it is consumed raw.

5.: Puli Rasam (Thin Tamarind curry ) is the cooked Tamil version of Pachhi Chaaru

6.: Mushroom Puli Kulambu ( Mushroom - Coconut – cumin- Tamarind curry) is a sweet and sour, soupy curry from Tamilnadu . A variety of vegetables like shallots, okra, eggplant etc can be stir fried and simmered in this kulambu.

7.: Chenai Puli Masiyal is boiled yam mashed with tamarind paste.

8.: Chena Pulingari (Coconut -Tamarind - curry) is Kerala’s take on the sambar. Veggies like colocasia, yellow pumpkin etc can be used in place of yam.

9.:. Vankaya Pachhi Pulusu (Eggplant - raw Tamarind curry) is another raw tamarind curry using grilled and mashed eggplant, the much loved Andhra vegetable.

10.: Mushroom Thenga pal kulambu ( Tamarind – coconut milk curry ) is a mild curry cooked with coconut milk and tamarind.

And that's my two bits for JFI- Tamarind hosted by Sig.


Sig said...

Ramki, thank you for this entry.

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