Tamarind Substitute In Curry – 6 Best Options

Last Updated on July 12, 2022 by

The tangy-sweet fruit tamarind is mostly grown in Asian countries. Use tamarind in any dish for tanginess, tartness, or natural sweetness. This fruit may be consumed as paste or syrup. If you don’t have tamarind in your kitchen for your curry, a few similar substitutes could be adequate. Below are some tamarind substitute in curry.

Pomegranate molasses, lime juice and brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar, marmalade, and amchur powder are some tamarind substitute in curry.

6 Best Tamarind Substitute In Curry

Lime Juice And Brown Sugar

It might be difficult to locate many tamarind paste replacements in a typical supermarket; instead, look in specialist food shops, not lime juice, and brown sugar. Many home chefs will have two common components in their cupboards combined to create the tamarind substitute in curry. In many recipes, lime juice alone may be sufficient to replace the tamarind paste since it helps to stimulate the acidity and sour flavors in the paste.

However, going the additional mile and adding some brown sugar brings out the slight sweetness that tamarind paste may provide to a dish while also darkening the color. You may use this alternative in various dishes, including curries.

To prevent an unfavorable gritty texture, one thing to keep in mind is that you should ensure the brown sugar is thoroughly dissolved before using this alternative in a cold concoction, such as a salad dressing. Use equal volumes of lime juice and brown sugar to create this replacement. If a recipe asks for a tablespoon of tamarind paste, you should use a tablespoon of your sour and sweet lime and sugar combo for the best results.

Pomegranate Molasses

If you don’t have tamarind paste, pomegranate molasses is one of the most excellent alternatives for the unique blend of the sour and sweet present in the substance. This alternative is a thick syrup closely resembling tamarind paste tastes. For those unfamiliar, this is merely a reduction of pomegranate juice and doesn’t taste anything like the molasses you may use to make gingerbread. Pomegranate flavor and the reduction process give the finished product a diversity of flavors that make it a perfect replacement in various recipes.

As an extra advantage, pomegranate molasses’ dark hue aids with tamarind paste’s visual and gustatory duplication. Additionally, it will add moisture to your food. The main drawback is that, unless you often prepare the cuisine that calls for pomegranate molasses, you may not have it in your cupboard as often as some of the other possible tamarind paste substitutes. If your recipe asks for two teaspoons of tamarind paste, you should substitute two tablespoons of pomegranate molasses for the best results.

Rice Vinegar And Brown Sugar

This alternative resembles the mixture of lime juice and brown sugar. Although you may have run out of fresh fruits like limes, rice vinegar is a pantry component rather than a fresh ingredient since a bottle of vinegar lasts much longer. There’s a good chance you have a bottle of rice vinegar in your pantry if you enjoy making Asian food at home. 

While any vinegar can be used in a pinch to replicate the tart flavors of tamarind paste, rice vinegar has a more delicate flavor, making it more appropriate than other types of vinegar. Add equal volumes of rice vinegar and brown sugar to create a tamarind substitute in curry. This mixture is a fantastic replacement since it combines all the nuanced sweet and sour taste characteristics of tamarind paste. 

When the two are combined, the rice vinegar will thicken and approach the consistency of tamarind paste. If you’re using brown sugar in a cold dish, ensure all sugar crystals are completely dissolved; if it’s going into a curry or soup, the heat will help you out. Use the same quantity of the rice vinegar and brown sugar concoction as you would have used tamarind paste for optimal results.


Marmalade and tamarind paste wouldn’t taste all that similar if they were put side by side in a tasting test. However, when used in curry, they share some of the same taste notes, making marmalade a worthy replacement that is also readily available for anybody who enjoys a morning toast with marmalade on it. 

Marmalade may significantly improve the taste of many foods since it has some sweet flavor notes and a little bitterness. It even contains a little amount of astringency, similar to the sourness of tamarind paste.

Additionally, the consistency of marmalade and tamarind paste is comparable, which is perfect if you’re using this item in a sauce or dressing where a thinner substitution would degrade the outcome. You should make a straight adjustment in this case, so if your tangy salad dressing asks for a teaspoon of tamarind paste, you will use a teaspoon of marmalade in its place.

Worcestershire Sauce

You have a good tamarind substitute in curry if you have this famously difficult-to-pronounce item in your refrigerator. Although tamarind extract is one of the ingredients in certain types of Worcestershire sauce, which gives the sauce a mild tanginess, the sauce may not appear like an ingredient with a lot of unusual taste.

One thing to keep in mind is consistency; Worcestershire sauce is a thinner combination than tamarind paste, which is, well, a paste. However, as tamarind paste is often used in little amounts, substituting a tablespoon or two shouldn’t significantly alter the final recipe’s consistency. 

Furthermore, this component is really easy to get; you can buy bottles of Worcestershire sauce in the condiment aisle of most supermarkets, so even if you have to make an additional visit to get this replacement, it shouldn’t be too difficult. For maximum results, use this as a straight substitution, so you would add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce for every tablespoon of tamarind paste the meal asks for.

Amchur Powder

This is another ingredient that the typical home chef would not have on hand, but if you like Indian food or have a large spice collection, you could have it in your cupboard. Amchur is a powder made from dried, unripe mangos that taste like tamarind paste. In reality, tamarind paste and amchur powder are often added to give a slight sourness and complexity to a meal, depending on what region of India the cuisine originates from.

The constancy is the only significant difference. As one would anticipate, amchur powder is powdered rather than the thick viscosity of tamarind paste. However, you may create a more paste-like consistency with the amchur powder by just adding little water without altering the taste of your food. For the best results, use amchur powder as a straight substitution by using one teaspoon of amchur powder for every teaspoon of tamarind paste in the recipe.

Are Tamarind Paste And Concentrate The Same Thing?

Tamarind paste and concentrate have similar tastes, but the concentrate has a more vibrant color and a less fruity undertone. In general, you may replace paste with concentrate by using a smaller quantity of concentrate.

What Flavor Is Tamarind Paste?

It is difficult to find an identical replacement for tamarind paste since it is a thick, sour sauce with a sweet lemony undertone and undertones of caramel and smoke. The taste character of your tamarind paste will be determined by how ripe the fruit was when the maker produced it. Use a riper fruit if you prefer a sweeter taste in your homemade tamarind paste.

What Is Tamarind Paste Good For?

Tamarind paste has several beneficial uses that are not only related to food, such as soothing a scratchy throat with tamarind tea. In addition, tamarind paste is used in several pastries and candies. However, tamarind paste is mostly used in savory recipes in both Asia and India. You can turn it into a chutney and spread it like jam on toast.

What Are the Ingredients For Tamarind Paste?

The primary component is tamarind, a tropical fruit pod that is both sweet and sour. The entire fruit and a block of tamarind pulp with the seeds already removed are available forms of tamarind. Water, salt, and sugar are the remaining elements to make tamarind. If all you can get is tamarind pulp, you may prepare the paste at home using just water and tamarind pulp by following this recipe. You’ll need a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the skin, extra seeds, and any other undesirable ingredients while you cook.

What Is The Ideal Tamarind Paste Substitute In Pad Thai Or Sambar?

The ideal tamarind paste replacement for Pad Thai is 1/2 cups tomato paste, 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp water, and 3 Tbsp lemon juice. You may keep the leftover paste in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Conclusion On Tamarind Substitute In Curry

Tamarind paste has a distinctive taste that is both sweet and sour at the same time, making it difficult to find an identical replacement. You may often get away with using an alternative since it is typically blended with other components. Most of the components in the six other selections above are ordinary items you probably already have in your kitchen, making it easy to have tamarind substitute in curry.