Asam (Tamarind)

Asam (Tamarind)

Tamarind Indica

Asam (Tamarind) is the Indonesian word for "sour", and also refers to the brown seed pods that hang from shade trees found in back-yards across the archipelago. A tart, gooey pupl surrounds the seeds that is used to make all kinds of things asam. Tamarindo is the version popular with Mexicans and you can usually find the dry pods in Hispanic markets. In Asian markets tamarind is commonly packed as a compressed block of gummy tar.

Asam (Tamarind)

Tamarind Water

This is the Tamarind Fruit form used for most recipes so it's good to prepare a batch in advance. To make 2 cups of tamarind water, use the pupl from 5 pods, or from a 2-inch cube of the compressed gum. Combine with 1 cup of hot water. Disperse the tamarind throughout the water and mash it up with a fork. Strain the liquid and save. Repeat the process with a more water to get the remaining juice of the leftover pulp.

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