Tag Archives: Tamarind as a medicine

Week 6…In my kitchen…Sourdough…Take 2 is still alive…

Welcome to week 6 in my kitchen, The good news is my sourdough starter…Take 2…Still lives…

Chinese New Year celebrations have been in full swing …Lots of lights, Lion dances, loud music and firecrackers…Not forgetting yummy food…All will be revealed soon when I collate all my pictures.

My new favourite Coconut cream just gets better… it keeps wonderfully in the fridge for a week which is the longest and it stiffened up nicely so I am thinking it would make a nice filling for cream slices, a swiss roll or gateaux…Another project and it is healthy…Who said healthy food was boring and bland???

Papaya Salsa was my new experiment…Papaya is classed as one of the worlds healthiest foods and Christopher Columbus likened it to a fruit of the angels…In a salsa?? I made a small bowl to start and was pleasantly surprised.

I used 1 ripe tomato, a cup of papaya, 1 spring onion, a small shallot, a handful of chopped coriander and a cheek of fresh lime. Cut everything up small and mixed together…It was very nice…I would make it again but will add just a little chilli…It has to be done…haha

Papaya tomato onion salsa

Eaten with my flatbreads ( last weeks post) it made a lovely little snack.

This weeks curry is for those hot curry lovers...I find seafood enhances the heat of the chillies…

This lovely spicy squid curry is not for the faint-hearted even I found it a tad hot.

But if you like a bit of heat, then this is just the curry for you.

Spicy Red Curried Squid.

This recipe is for two people but it is quite easy to double up the ingredients, it is also very quick to cook so prepare all your ingredients first and then in as much time as it takes to cook your rice you will have a beautiful curry.


  • 200 gm squid cleaned and cut into rectangles I normally score mine with a sharp knife( it just makes them look prettier).
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tomato cut into 8
  • A handful of pea eggplants( optional)
  • Sm piece of fresh ginger finely cut into slivers or cubes
  • Black pepper
  • Half tbsp of coconut oil
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp fish sauce.
  • Sm bunch of Thai basil

Ok…Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a wok until it is very hot and add garlic, shallots and curry paste, stir fry for 30 seconds.

Note: The Thai red curry paste I get is a very hot one which I get freshly made from my local market.

Add tomatoes, ginger and pea eggplants if used and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add squid and pepper and stir-fry for a further 1 minute.

Add coconut milk and fish sauce stir well and cook on low heat for 2 minutes, stir in Thai basil.

Thai spicy red curry squid

Serve with steamed rice and……. Enjoy!

You have probably noticed that my recipes are all cooked from scratch contain healthy ingredients which have proven health benefits…I am trying to break the mould or the myths that healthy food is bland and/or boring…There seems to be a barrier to me… we just need to know our food and what the benefits to our health is and cook accordingly.

I don’t spend hours in the kitchen and I don’t think that I buy special foods or expensive foods and I certainly don’t feel deprived in any way at all…It is also foods which we all eat ..grandkids included although we limit the heat for little Lily or take her portion out before we add all the chilli.

My newly discovered fruit this week was the young Tamarind I have seen it for the last few weeks at the market and my daughter-in-law was up last weekend and bought some.

fresh young tamarind fruit

The fruit inside starts off white and tastes nutty and as it ripens it goes pink and you can slightly taste a sourness, the last stage when it is dried and you get the dark sticky tamarind is maybe the tamarind you see for sale in bright red boxes in your supermarket.

Tamarind like many fruits and vegetables has a long history of healing and aiding stomach disorders and is used as a laxative.

Tamarind Preparations are used for fevers, sore throats, inflammation of joints and sunstroke. The leaves dried or boiled are made into poultices to help reduce swollen joints, sprains, boils, haemorrhoids and conjunctivitis.

 Dried this rather plain brown pod has the capacity to elevate your food to something else.

The family favourite this week was Pork filled rice flour skin wrappers…Our new favourite take away street food snack…

pork filled rice flour skins with peanut dip

It was worth the queue the young man was giving out numbers and I have never seen anyone work that fast…The whole family loved them…Translucent rice flour skins with a ground/minced pork filling made from scratch right in front of me with…. a new herb for me… Pandan, or screw pine, also called pandanus, daun pandan, and screw palm is a shrub with strap-shaped leaves reminiscent of palm leaves. The leaves are long, thin, and narrow with a deep green colour, and are sold fresh, frozen, or dried.

I have used pandan to wrap and cook chicken in and as a colouring for a dessert but never sliced and used in a savoury dish much like I would use other herbs.

Some species of this plant have highly aromatic leaves that are prized in cooking. The flowers are also aromatic, and an extract called kewra(or keora) is made from them and used in Indian milk-based sweets. They are widely used throughout Southeast Asia and other tropical regions.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day xxx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

The Tamarind Tree



The Tamarind is a leguminous tree which grows in tropical climates. Originally from Africa, it now grows in tropical regions around the globe being most common in South Asia and Mexico.

Its fruits are called an indehiscent legume which means that it doesn’t open naturally when it reaches maturity. Inside the fruit are a few large seeds and a sticky, tart pulp which when dried is even more tart.

shelled tamarind Fruit

The largest producer today is India although Thailand and Mexico are major producers.

It is used in everything from desserts to wonderful chutneys. It can be eaten fresh or dried it is sweet but a little tart and a small amount goes a long way.

The pulp can be eaten alone or with a little sugar to make it less tart and to give it a much more mellow flavour.

I use it a lot in cooking and I think my favourite dishes are:

 Tamarind prawns and beef rendang. The addition of tamarind to your cooking takes your dish to another level.

Beef Rendang is a recipe given to me by my friend Mamik and it is very nice and the beef is amazing. It is also my go-to recipe if I want that special dish to impress.


  • 2” Galangal
  • 2” Ginger
  • 1kg beef (Bottom Round)
  • 1-litre  Coconut Milk (3 sm tins and made to one litre with water)
  • Grind together and put on one side, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds and 1 tsp white peppercorns.
  • 2 Star Anise.
  • Half cup toasted coconut (pound in pestle until oil is released and it looks like a paste.)
  • 1 Turmeric Leaf (Leave leaf whole but tear side to stem along leaf) this releases the flavour.
  • 2 stems lemongrass crushed along the stem.
  • 2 Lime leaves.
  • Soak 1-2 tsp Tamarind pulp in a little water and set aside for later.
  • Curry Paste:
  • Blitz the next 4 ingredients together to make the curry paste.
  • 2cm Fresh Turmeric.
  • 10 Shallots
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 10 large red chillies (deseed if you want a milder curry)

To make Curry:

Cut beef into large cubes.

Put a tbsp oil of your choice in a cooking pot (I use a wok). Add Curry paste and cook and stir for 5 mins, add beef and stir to combine. Add coconut milk/water mixture and stir to combine.

Slowly bring to a gentle simmer, add torn turmeric leaf, lemongrass and lime leaves and star anise.

Cover the pan and cook until meat is tender at least 3 hrs on a low simmer, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground coconut paste about a half-hour before the end of the cooking time and also the tamarind liquid and this is when the magic happens and the taste goes from just another curry to something wonderful.

When the meat is cooked and tender remove the turmeric leaf and lemongrass stalks although if we are not eating the curry until the next day I leave them and remove them before we eat the curry.

This curry should traditionally have a very thick paste and is also best eaten the next day to allow the flavours to develop.

However, as Europeans prefer a runnier sauce you can choose not to reduce down as much.


 Tamarind is also great as a marinade for meat as it breaks down and tenderises tougher cuts of meat. It is used to make jams and syrups it is also one of the secret ingredients of Lea & Perrins  Worcestershire sauce which is a fermented sauce which has any uses.

Great in smoothies mango and tamarind smoothie is very nice it also has many other culinary uses.

This little dip is a recipe from Bali very easy to make but made more special by the addition of tamarind.

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes.

  • Take 200gm of palm sugar shaved.
  • 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
  • 6 or more Thai chillies.
  • 1/4tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little sauce.

Health Benefits of Tamarind.

This picture shows the green pods of the Tamarind tree before they ripen and what a magnificent tree it is.

green unripe TAMARIND PODS

Tamarind like many fruits and vegetables has a long history of healing and aiding stomach disorders and is used as a laxative.

Tamarind preparations are used for fevers, sore throats, inflammation of joints and sunstroke. The leaves dried or boiled are made into poultices to help reduce swollen joints, sprains, boils, haemorrhoids and conjunctivitis.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this rather plain brown pod with the capacity to elevate your food to something else.

Images are my own or from Pixabay and require no attribution.

Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoyed it…If you did please reblog or share and let me know what you do with Tamarind in the comments if you use it…It would be lovely to chat with you…I always reply…