Tamarind Paste Substitutes: 5 Best Options

Are you looking for tamarind paste substitutes? This article is for you. 

Tamarind paste is used often in Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. It has a strong, sweet-sour taste with a citrusy undertone. This paste makes pad Thai, and crab curry tastes great. This paste can be used to balance hot and spicy curries as well as add sweetness to Thai stir-fries.

Tamarind paste is usually available at Asian grocery stores or Asian grocers. You can use tamarind paste substitutes if you are unable to find them.

What is Tamarind Paste?

Tamarind paste is made from tamarind fruits, which are small pods with a sweet flavor and sticky texture. It can be found in many Asian countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines. You can also find some variants in India and Mexico.

These countries consider tamarind paste an important ingredient in many dishes. It gives dishes a unique flavor that lemon cannot match because of its sour notes. Because it is a paste, the ingredient thickens sauces in many dishes.

Tamarind Paste Substitutes

Tamarind Paste Substitutes

1. Lime Juice And Brown Sugar

Because the ingredients are easily available, this will appeal to many. The lime juice adds a tart flavor, while the sugar gives it a sweet taste. Although you won’t get the exact same flavor as tamarind paste, many people wouldn’t notice the difference in many dishes.

This lime and brown sugar should be used in equal amounts. Use equal amounts of the backup mixture if you need 1 Tbsp tamarind paste.

2. Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate Molasses is pomegranate juice reduced to a thick concentrated syrup. It’s used in many Middle Eastern cuisines and has a deeper, more complex acidity than lemon juice. You can choose from sugar-free or sugar-sweetened versions. It isn’t very sweet, so it can be used as a substitute for tamarind. You should use exactly the same amount as your recipe for tamarind.

3. Amchoor

This is simply mango powder. It tastes very similar to tamarind paste. This powder is usually made from unripe mangoes, which are then ground to a fine texture. Amchoor may be unfamiliar to you, so it is best to look for it in an Indian food shop.

You will need at least twice the amount of mango powder to get the same flavor. This is a powder so you will need to add water or fruit juice to make up the difference.

Mix one tablespoon of mango powder with one cup of water to make a paste that you can use in sambars, chutneys, sauces and many other dishes.

4. Worcestershire Sauce

Although it might seem odd to use Worcestershire sauce in place of tamarind, if you take a closer look, this substitute can be a great complement to your food.

Although tamarind is often used in this sauce, the ingredients vary so do the concentrations. The Worcestershire sauce can be used in the same way as regular tamarind. This sauce can be mixed with other ingredients, so your food may taste slightly different. You will still enjoy the same flavor, and so will your family. This substitute can be used in salads and cooked dishes.

5. Vinegar

Vinegar is the final substitute for tamarind paste. This option is not something I am keen to try, but it is a staple in my pantry, so it’s up.

Use milder vinegar, such as white wine, apple cider, or rice, if you can. Combine equal amounts of vinegar and sugar and then add it to the dish in the same amount as the tamarind paste that you are replacing.

Questions Frequently Asked

1. Is Tamarind Paste And Concentrate One And The Same Thing?

Although the flavors of tamarind paste and concentrate are similar, concentrate has a stronger flavor and more intense color. You can substitute paste for concentrate by using less concentrate.

2. Is It Possible To Use Lemon Instead?

You can substitute tamarind with lemon juice, but you might want to add some sweetness. To get a close taste to tamarind, mix lemon juice or lime juice with some brown sugar.

3. What Is The Taste of Tamarind?

Tamarind can be sweet and sour but also taste nutty and caramel-like. Some tamarinds are sweeter than others, depending on which brand you choose. If the tamarind paste does not already have sugar, most recipes will add sugar.

4. How Do You Know If Tamarind Has Gone Bad?

You should look out for signs such as tamarind that smells bad, or has dried out. Tamarind should have a sweet, soft scent. Remember that dry tamarind shrinks so if the fruit is small, it might be time to toss it.


It can be difficult to find a substitute for tamarind paste. In this article, we have helped you to list some of the best substitutes for tamarind that we have researched. Hope you will have more interesting information after reading this article.

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