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Tamarind from pod to paste

I'm telling you straight up, tamarind "goo" is not photographic in the least. 

How I got from here

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to here in a few, almost painless steps. 

This was my first time doing this so I'm far from experienced but I did learn a thing or two. Let's look at the pods. I did learn that the "puffier" the pods the easier the shell comes off, and the darker the pod, the older it is, and will more likely have the shell stick to the pulp, which will be a bear to pick off little piece by little piece. So, light color and puffy get it, light color and not puffy pass, dark color fuggedaboutit!

See those light spots on the peeled pods, that's some of the shell that I couldn't get off the pulp. In the long run, it didn't really matter because it got caught up in the sieve anyway.  Just make sure you get most of the shell and hard stringy veins. 

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I think I had about 9 or 10  pods. 

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For every ounce of tamarind pods, you'll need an equal amount of hot water to soak them in. They should soak for about 20 to 30 minutes. 

Now the real fun begins, get your hand in the bowl and smoosh and massage the pods to help separate the beans from the pulp,

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Then dump all the contents of the bowl into a sieve placed over a bowl and continue smooshing and pressing it through the sieve. 

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You'll need to occasionally scrape the pulp off the bottom of the sieve. 

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Then you'll end up with a nice thick paste ready for your next culinary adventure. 

This will keep for 3 to 4 weeks well covered in the refrigerator or the freezer for months. 

Now I'm off to find some recipes using tamarind. I've seen a few that look promising. 

And that's that!