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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkEntertainment | Restaurants & Dining 

How to Turn Tamarind into Tasty Sauces and Snacks

March 18, 2013

Tamarind trees are prolific in the Puerto Vallarta area. They have small leaves and produce large pods that can be made into a variety of healthy sauces, snacks and beverages.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - One of the great things about living in a tropical climate is the year round fresh produce available. This makes it really easy to have a diet rich in non-processed foods. Tamarind trees are prolific in the Puerto Vallarta area. They have small leaves and produce large pods that can be made into a variety of snacks and beverages.

I have been writing the Ron Morgan blog for about one year and decided to add my two pesos worth of my Mexican living experience. I have lived in Puerto Vallarta for ten years, but let's get back to the tamarind.

I used to associate tamarind sauce with Asian food and was surprised to find that tamarind grows all over the area and the ripe pods can be picked from your tree (or your neighbor's tree,) or bought at a local market.


In my culinary adventures I've had tamarind sauce accompany tacos at Daiquiri Dick's and I wanted to know how they made it because the restaurant makes all their sauces from scratch. I got the scoop from the chef and then went online to do a little research and here is my recipe for tamarind sauce.

I bought about 20 pods at Súper Cereales y Semillas de Vallarta on México 1130 right by Ley. A four-quart sauce pot was filled with water and set to boil.

I peeled off the shells and the membranes. It was like shelling and deveining shrimp. The pulp is really sticky and gets all over your fingertips. It is sour and sweet at the same time, kinda like a Jolly Rancher.

After the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and place the tamarind fruit into the water, put the cover on and let them soak for two hours. You should be able to separate the pulp from the seeds easily by using the back of a large spoon. If not, set the water to boil again for a few minutes and let the pods continue to soak.


Once the pulp separates from the seed easily, strain the liquid by smashing the pulp and seeds against the sides of a colander. You want as much liquid and fine pulp as you can get. Tamarind is high in acid, sugar, B vitamins and even calcium.

I transferred the pulpy juice to my four-quart saucepan and added about 3/4 cup of honey, from Mascota and sold door-to-door, two diced serrano chiles, four cloves of smashed garlic and about 1/4 cup grated ginger. It was not hot enough for me so I added about two teaspoons of five hot pepper blend. I think I may add food processed chipotles in adobado next time.

This was brought to a boil. I turned off the heat, placed the lid on and let it sit until cooled. I put it into half-cup containers for the freezer and reserved about one cup for the fridge. This sauce went perfectly with sauteed shrimp and broccoli, also bought fresh from the market in Aramara. I haven't tried this as a marinade, but I am sure it'd be fabulous.

It is wonderful to cook fresh and local.

Ron Morgan Properties specializes in luxury real estate in the Marina Vallarta area and beyond to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Punta de Mita, as well as along the southern shores of Banderas Bay, from the Romantic Zone, Amapas and Conchas Chinas down to Mismaloya and even Costa Alegre. For more information, visit RonMorgan.net.

Click HERE to learn more about Ron Morgan Properties.