Kitchen Tips: 7 Amazing Substitutes Of Tamarind Paste
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Tamarind paste is a popular kitchen ingredient known for its sweet, sour and tangy flavour which charms everyone. It is made from tamarind as the name suggests. It has a pod-like shape with a seed inside and also a juicy and delicious pulp which is cooked to make tamarind paste.

Tamarind paste is used to make soups, sauces and curries and it also works amazing in chutneys. It has a citrusy flavour which adds a distinct tang to the dishes and is quite popular in Asian cuisine. So if you frequently make Indian or Thai dishes then these brilliant substitutes could come in handy when you find your empty bottle of tamarind paste.

So let's get started and go through the best substitutes of tamarind paste.

Lemon Juice And White Sugar

This combination recreates the same slightly sweet and tangy flavour profile with a hint of citrus just like tamarind paste. Not just that their taste is quite refreshing. The lemon provides tang and a zesty kick whereas sugar delivers sweetness to create a perfect balance.

Working well in harmony, these two common ingredients make an incredible alternative to tamarind paste. For the best results, use it in a 1:1 ratio.

Orange Juice

It is quite obvious that orange juice won't be able to provide the same flavour as tamarind paste but it would still bring a citrusy touch to the dishes. Not just that, the natural sweetness of oranges would also help elevate your dishes while also adding a bit of tangy flavour to the mix.

You can use orange juice in place of tamarind paste in many ways. The most popular ways are to use in dishes such as marinades, dressings and glazes.

However, you have to adjust the amount of the orange juice accordingly as it tends to be sweeter than tamarind paste.

Pomegranate Syrup

It is quite possible that you don't probably have a bottle of pomegranate syrup in your kitchen if you don't have tamarind paste. But thank yourself if you do as it works amazing as an alternative to tamarind paste.

The syrup is simply pomegranate juice mixed with an acid which is then later cooked into a syrup. You can buy it from the store or if you want it homemade then you will only need sugar, lemon juice and pomegranate.

The pomegranate syrup has the same consistency as tamarind paste while having an identical flavour profile. Use an equal amount of syrup as you would use tamarind paste in the dish.

You can use the syrup to add a tang and sweetness to curries and chutneys.

Cranberry Juice

Another flavourful and tart juice which works amazing as a tamarind paste substitute is cranberry juice which is known for its sweet and tangy flavour profile.

This substitute however works best for Thai cuisine or curries such as Pad Thai or dishes that need a balance of sweet and sour flavour.

You should always be aware of the sugar content of your cranberry juice though as store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar. Either use unsweetened juice or dilute it with water before using.

Amchur Powder

A very common ingredient in Indian cuisine. Amchur powder is essentially a dry powder which is prepared from unripe mangoes or kairi. Due to the raw mangoes, it has a tangy and sour taste with a hint of sweetness resembling the flavour of tamarind paste.

Simply add water to the amchur powder to create a pasty consistency. Use the amchur paste in the same amount as you would use tamarind paste in curries or chutneys.


Kokum or mangosteen is a common Indian fruit which has been used in Indian cuisine for ages. It is known for its tangy, sour and sweet flavour profile. It is also used as a spice in its dried form.

Kokum's flavour is identical to tamarind in many ways and that's why it can be used as a substitute in many dishes like Rasam and Sambar where tamarind or tamarind paste is used.

Lemon Juice And Brown Sugar

Earlier we discussed lemon juice and white sugar but you can also recreate a substitute for tamarind paste using brown sugar. Because the components are widely available, this will be an enticing option for many. The lemon juice adds a sharp flavour, while the sugar adds a sweet balance. You won't get the same flavour as tamarind paste, but most people won't notice the difference in many meals.

Use an equal amount of lemon juice and brown sugar.