Thursday, June 16, 2011

Exotic Tastes: Fenugreek and Tamarind

So far, all of my recipes used a base set of common spices.

However, the Indian soup Sambar requires fenugreek and tamarind. So it's time to explore off the beaten path spices. Luckily, these are easy to find these at Indian or other Asian grocery, which are almost everywhere.

Spices: Fenugreek (Bitter) and Tamarind (Sour)
- Fenugreek is signature bitter flavor in Indian Sambar Powder, a common spice mix or curry powder for popular Sambar Soup. Dried seeds and fresh leaves, used similar to celery in Middle Eastern and Asian recipes.
- Tamarind is sour flavor in Asian sweet and sour sauces. Sauce or paste from pulp of fruit. Used similar to lemon in Asia. (Also sour ingredient in Worchestershire Sauce.) Indian grocery sells concentrate in plastic bottles and glass jars. The tamarind concentrate in plastic bottles is "jello"-like and very concentrate. The tamarind concentrate in glass jars, which I used, is sauce-like and closer to fresh home made paste, which is squeezed pulp with seeds and fibers strained.