Tamarind Paste Substitute: Looking for the Best Alternatives

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Tamarind Paste Substitute – Most commonly used in Middle Eastern and Asian delicacies, tamarind paste is made from the fruit of the same name. In simple words, it is the fruit’s pulp and has a mix of sweet and tart taste although it is tarter than being sweeter. The paste is used as a souring ingredient in different Asian cuisines, as it delivers a tangy tartness with mildly sweet notes.

More often than not, cooking time often makes us notice that one or two ingredients are missing. Many of these missing ingredients could be exotic due to which it is not easy to find them in a nearby grocery shop or a departmental store.

Tamarind Paste Substitute – 4 Good Alternatives

Well, tamarind paste is one such ingredient. Many home cooks find it tough to locate. However, if there is an Asian food store nearby, chances are high for you to get it immediately.  In this situation, a cook can smartly consider buying some tamarinds in bulk and making their paste at home.

However, this is something that you cannot do if the paste in needed immediately while the recipe is being cooked. When all these options become irrational, the most sensible option is to look for a tamarind paste substitute. So, let’s these alternatives now!

#1. Kokum

This fruit is comparable to tamarind, as it has almost the same sour taste. It is a native fruit to India due to which it is rarely used in other nations. For using it, soak a few pieces in water and then add them as it is to the recipe. However, do look for seeds and remove them if any.

#2. Lime or Lemon Juice

These are obvious souring agents known for their tartness. This is why you can use any of them as a tamarind paste substitute. However, do not expect a fruity sweetness from them, as you would get from tamarind.

Nevertheless, you can expect them to perform effectively as well as satisfactorily. In case of Thai recipes, consider adding some sugar to add a bit of sweetness if it is unavoidable. On the other hand, in Indian recipes, many chefs or cooks use lemon or lime juice as an alternative.

You should mix equal amount of lemon or lime juice for replacing tamarind paste of that same quantity. If you wish to add sugar, consider doing so in equal parts. In short, rely on the same quantity of mixture that the dish demands tamarind paste.

#3. Dried Fruits

No, this is not crazy! Dried fruits can help you get a similar taste of the tart paste. All you have to do is mix the sweet dried fruits with citrus juice. This gives a sweet and tangy tamarind paste substitute whose texture is what the tamarind paste has.

Crush equal parts of lemon juice, dried apricots, chopped dates, and pitted prunes using a food processor. One tablespoon of this mix is equal to one tablespoon of tamarind paste.

#4. Mango Powder (Amchoor)

This powder comes from dried, green mangoes. It is widely used in northern India as a souring ingredient. This is because of the comparable tartness as well as fruitiness present inside.

However, the powder will differ in terms of consistency from the tamarind paste, as it is dry. However, it is possible to make it similar by making a paste using it. To do so, mix equal parts water and mango powder.

For dishes that need 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste, consider adding the same amount of this paste as a tamarind paste substitute. However, if you are using mango powder, consider adding 1.5 tablespoons.


While a tamarind paste substitute is an ideal option to consider, the flavor that you get may not be exactly the same. However, you still can get a similar taste and satisfactory buds at the end.