12 Tamarind Paste Substitutes for Asian Recipes

Tamarind paste is often used in Asian, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisines. It is well-known for its peculiar sweet and sour taste with a citrus undertone.

Tamarind paste is essential to the preparation of popular dishes such as beef Rendang, crab curry, and Pad Thai. Because of its sour taste, it is often used in hot and spicy curry.

It is not uncommon to run out of certain essential goods in your pantry. If you want to make curry but don’t have tamarind paste, you may substitute other components.

  1. Brown Sugar and Vinegar
  2. Lime Juice and Brown Sugar
  3. Pomegranate Molasses
  4. Worcestershire Sauce
  5. Marmalade
  6. Amchur Powder
  7. Lemon Juice and Dried Fruit
  8. Mango Chutney
  9. Tamarind Pulp/Sauce

Before we get into the alternatives, let’s learn more about the history of this famous Asian culinary component.

12 Best Substitute For Tamarind Paste 

Tamarind paste is prepared from the tamarind tree’s fruit or pods. It is an African hardwood tree that is currently growing in Asia and Mexico.

The huge brown pods’ dark reddish-brown fruit is extracted and separated from the seeds.

Tamarind paste can readily found in the Asian aisle of a local supermarket or an Asian specialty shop.

You may manufacture your own tamarind paste if you have dried pods, which are available in most Asian markets. Remove the fruit and place it in a cup of water to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and crush the fruit before straining the liquid. To acquire as much pulp as possible, press the fruit through a sieve. You may now put your tamarind paste to use.

The most popular replacement is a mixture of sugar and vinegar. Because sugar and vinegar are constantly accessible and simple to locate, it may be the best substitute.

Brown Sugar And Vinegar

Rice vinegar is an excellent option since it enhances the tastes of your food. Brown sugar is used to counteract the salinity. To enhance flavor, some chefs use toasted sesame seed soil, notably in Chinese stir-fry meals.

In the recipe, use 1 part rice vinegar and 1 part brown sugar for every 1 part tamarind paste.

For its acidic and sour taste, several chefs favor apple cider vinegar. It works well for preparing meat meals.

Lime Juice and Brown Sugar

Because it has the same sour and acidic qualities as tamarind paste, lime juice is an excellent alternative. Brown sugar adds a note of sweetness to lime juice, mimicking the taste profile of tamarind paste. Though you won’t obtain the exact same taste profile, it is hardly perceptible in most meals.

The combination of lime juice and brown sugar improves the taste of both sweet and savory foods. If you’re making a salad dressing, first dissolve the brown sugar in a chilled mixture before adding the lime juice.

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Combine lime juice and brown sugar in equal portions. 1 tablespoon lime juice and sugar combination to 1 tablespoon tamarind paste is the appropriate ratio.

Pomegranate Molasses


Pomegranate molasses is another good substitute for tamarind paste. Pomegranate’s sweet and sour qualities are similar to tamarind paste’s flavor profile. Molasses is created by reducing pomegranate juice until it becomes a thick syrup. You may add sugar or not.

Pomegranate molasses’ sweet, tart, and sour characteristics make it suitable for both sweet and savory meals. They complement beef, chicken, and lamb. You may also create barbeque sauce, marinade, glaze, and salad dressing using it.

The appropriate pomegranate molasses to tamarind paste ratio is 1:1.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is widely available at grocery shops and supermarkets. It may also be used in place of tamarind paste.

To create the complex taste profile of tamarind paste, however, combine Worcestershire sauce with the following ingredients:

What You Need:

  • 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • cup of tomato paste

)tamarind-paste-substitutewww.foodchamps.orgCombine the components listed above. The appropriate proportion of Worcestershire sauce to tamarind paste is 1:1. You may use lime juice or apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice. (https:



Traditionally, marmalade is created by extracting the juice and peel of citrus fruit, then boiling it in water with sugar. The end product is a jelly rendition of your favorite fruit. Marmalade has a similar taste characteristic to tamarind paste. It has a strong sour taste with a little astringency.

Tamarind paste and marmalade have the same consistency and may be used in lieu of tamarind paste. It works well in sauces and salad dressings.

The appropriate marmalade-to-tamarind-paste ratio is 1:1.

Amchur Powder

Amchur powder, made from unripe mangoes, is widely used in India. Mix amchur powder with water to form a paste that resembles tamarind paste in texture. Make sure you use an equal amount of each.

Amchur powder interacts with other substances in the same way as tamarind paste does. [Source]

Because of its acidic, fruity, and sour qualities, amchur powder is an excellent alternative for tamarind paste. Its richness and fragrant taste make it an excellent replacement for tamarind paste in Indian cookery.

The optimal proportion of amchur powder paste to tamarind paste is 1:1.

Lemon Juice and Dried Fruit

To produce a tamarind paste replacement, blend equal parts chopped apricots, dates, and prunes with lemon and water. Simply simmer for 20 to 30 minutes before straining the water. Blend the dried fruits and lemon juice till smooth.

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If apricots, dates, and prunes are unavailable, raisins may be substituted.

You may get a similar texture using tamarind, but the taste profile will be less vivid.

The combination and tamarind paste should be mixed in a 1:1 ratio.

Mango Chutney

Mango chutney has the same consistency as tamarind paste and may be used in the same recipes. It’s nearly as thick and has the same taste character. If the mango chutney is too sweet for you, add a few drops of lime or lemon juice to balance the flavor.

It is a popular condiment in India and comes in a variety of flavors. Mango chutney may be served as an appetizer or as a side dish to Asian or Indian meals. You may also put it on toast with cheese for a quick snack.

Mango chutney may be purchased in a jar, however it is not widely accessible in most stores. You may, however, create your own. Ripe mangoes, vinegar or lemon juice, sugar, salt, and your favorite spices are required. To make it more sophisticated, add chopped onions.

DIY Tamarind Pulp/Sauce


If you have the time, you may prepare your own tamarind sauce with only a few simple ingredients.

What You Need:

  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • cup of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

In a blender, combine all of the aforementioned ingredients until they have the consistency of tamarind paste. If lemon juice is unavailable, apple cider vinegar or lime juice may be used.

To create a more sour taste, use freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice rather than bottled lemon or lime juice.

As required, add or reduce the brown sugar. The flavor and acidity will be to your liking, so taste as you go through the procedure.


Kokum is an Indian native; yet, it is exceedingly uncommon and difficult to get even in India. It is an excellent substitute for tamarind paste.

Kokum is steeped in water before being mashed into a paste. Before straining the mixture to eliminate extra water, the seeds are removed.

This fruit has the same depth of taste as the others, but it is more unusual and more costly.

Kachri Powder


Kachri is another exotic Indian fruit. It has the look of a little watermelon and is related to cucumbers. It’s sour and acidic, making it a suitable tamarind paste replacement.

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However, once the kachri powder is unsealed, it quickly loses its tangy taste and turns sour.

Spiced Up Ketchup

If you look at a Pad Thai recipe, youll see that ketchup is one of the components, since it is used to substitute tamarind paste in most North American versions.

Because it is widely available and most homes have a bottle in their pantry, it is a practical substitute for tamarind paste.

To substitute the tamarind paste, just spice ordinary ketchup. Combine 1 tablespoon ketchup, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 teaspoons oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in a mixing bowl.

Sweet, salty, sour, and savory tastes will be combined in the concoction. 1 tablespoon of this spiced-up ketchup combination for every 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste is the optimum ratio.

Tamarind Paste Substitute Related FAQs

Does tamarind paste taste the same as the concentrated variety?

The taste characteristics of tamarind paste and tamarind concentrate are similar, however the concentrated type is less fruity. Tamarind concentration is brighter in color than tamarind paste.

Tamarind paste’s distinct taste profile makes it suitable for making genuine Asian and Indian meals. However, just because you can’t locate tamarind paste in your local grocery shop or supermarket doesn’t mean you can’t reproduce it or use a replacement.

The objective is to employ replacements with similar taste profiles to tamarind paste. There are Asian cuisines that need realistic sweet and sour taste profiles, and the trick is to select the perfect components to bring out the best in your meals, whether you use actual tamarind paste or a replacement for it.

Can I use tamarind concentrate as a substitute for tamarind paste for cooking?

Tamarind concentration is also known as tamarind sauce, and it may be used in place of tamarind paste in recipes. The optimal tamarind concentrate-to-water ratio is 1:2.

To the recipe, add two tablespoons of water for every teaspoon of tamarind concentrate.

If I don’t have tamarind concentrate, is there another substitute that I can use?

Tamarind concentrate may be replaced with a blend of lime juice and brown sugar. You just need to make some changes. To begin, twice the quantity of lime juice. Instead of a 1:1 ratio of lime juice to sugar, make it a 2:1 ratio.

Take note that the tamarind concentrate has a richer flavor and is more potent than tamarind paste. You may use any of the alternatives listed in this article. If you want a more intense taste, enhance the acidity level by adding extra lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar.


What can I use if I don’t have tamarind paste?

Lime or lemon juice are the best Tamarind Paste Substitutes. While I’ve used tamarind in the past, I like to keep my pantry basic these days, so if I’m making anything that asks for tamarind, my first go-to is a squeeze of lime juice.
Vinegar de Balsamic.
Worcestershire sauce is a condiment.
Ketchup made from tomatoes.
Aminos de coco.
Take it out.

What tastes similar to tamarind paste?

There are several methods to substitute tamarind paste in your recipe. Vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and pomegranate juice are some of the most common replacements. Each of these ingredients will give your food a distinct sweet and sour flavor reminiscent of tamarind.

What is equivalent to tamarind paste concentrate?

If you run out of tamarind concentrate and need it for a dish, use an equivalent quantity of citrus juice instead. What exactly is this? Orange and grapefruit juices are the most often used alternatives, however lemon juice may also be used.

Can I substitute pad thai sauce for tamarind paste?

4 cup (50 mL) tomato paste, 2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar or freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice, 2 tbsp (30 mL) Worcestershire, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar and 1 tbsp (15 mL) water.SUBSTITUTION FOR TAMARIND

Although ketchup is a typical substitute for tamarind paste, we prefer this delectable combination: 1

How do you make tamarind paste?

Pour the boiling water over the tamarind, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 30 to 45 minutes. Stir the tamarind with a fork at first, then massage the fruit between your fingers to separate it from the seeds as the water cools. The mixture will thicken and become pulpy.

Can you use ketchup instead of tamarind paste?

Can I Substitute Ketchup for Tamarind Paste? Ketchup is a popular substitute for tamarind paste. To make it taste like tamarind paste, add fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, dark soy sauce, and rice vinegar.

Does tamarind taste like vinegar?

The taste of tamarind is regarded as sour and tart, yet when completely ripe, it may be as sweet as a banana. The flavor is similar to lemon juice or lime, but with a rich, sweet undertone reminiscent of brown sugar and caramel overtones.

What does tamarind paste do?

The sour tamarind has several functions in Indian cuisine. It functions as a preservative, a cooling agent, and a remedy—its paste alleviates the irritating mouthfeel caused by eating tubers such as yam and taro.

Where do you find tamarind paste in the grocery store?

This paste is often available on the exotic Aisle, with other exotic foods or spices.

What is the difference between tamarind and tamarind paste?

Is it better to use tamarind paste or tamarind pulp? Unless diluted, tamarind pulp is seldom utilized in cooking. Instead, it is typically used to prepare tamarind water before incorporating it into a dish. Tamarind paste is more easier and faster to use since it can be spooned straight from the jar into your food.

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