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Can You Freeze Tamarind?

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By Lewis Brindley

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Tamarind has a unique and wonderfully interesting flavour – sweet, sour, and a great addition to so many dishes. To make the most of any tamarind pods that you buy, you’ll need to store them for the long term. But, how? Are they freezable?

Can You Freeze Tamarind?

Yes, you can freeze tamarind for years and years. To freeze tamarind pods, wrap them individually in several layers of cling film or aluminium foil. Then, simply place the tightly wrapped pods into your freezer.

Does Tamarind Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Tamarind? Yes

How to Freeze Tamarind

With tamarind, a little goes a long way. If you’re able to get hold of fresh tamarind pods then, chances are, you won’t need to use them all up. Freezing them is the best way to store them and it’s super easy to do:

  1. Wrap the Pod Well: To freeze a tamarind pod in your home, you need to start off by taking the pod and wrapping it in several layers of cling film or foil. If you don’t mind using up a freezer bag, the thick heavy plastic would work well as a final protection layer.
  2. Place the Pod in the Freezer: Once the pod is well wrapped so that no condensation or frost can get to it, simply place the pod into your freezer. Since there’s little to no water in the pod, they aren’t susceptible to freezer burn over time. Instead, they’ll simply keep it indefinitely.
Is Cling Film or Foil Better for Freezing Tamarind Pods?

Between foil and cling film, we would probably recommend using cling film. Cling film is an insulator, so it slows down the process of freezing anything that it’s wrapped in. This prevents condensation and freezer burn, to some degree, which means your pods will last for a little longer.

3 Tips for Freezing Tamarind

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing tamarind to have the best results:

Wrap it Carefully
Tamarind will keep indefinitely in the freezer… If it’s well wrapped! You need to make sure to wrap it completely, with no holes or gaps.

Try to Only Thaw What You Need
Only thaw as much tamarind as you need at any time, this will prevent texture loss to the pod during a thawing and refreezing process.

Use a Sharp Knife
When cutting off tamarind that you want to use in your kitchen, use a sharp, heavy knife to create a clean cut. A tear or break will allow some of the pod to get oxidized, reducing flavour retention.

How Long Can You Freeze Tamarind?

Tamarind can be kept in the freezer indefinitely, which is quite unusual for a fresh ingredient. The reason that it can be frozen for so long is that there is little to no water in the pods themselves, meaning that freezer burn is virtually impossible.

Also, the oily nature of tamarind means that any cut or break in the pod will, functionally, be sealed against external condensation and liquid.

This means that the flavour of the pod itself will be maintained over time – the whole reason you want to have tamarind in the first place!

How Long Does Fresh Tamarind Last in the Fridge?

When kept in a resealable bag, tamarind will last for between 2 and 3 weeks in the fridge.

How Do You Defrost Tamarind?

The best way to defrost tamarind is to soak it in hot water for a short period of time. The exact length of time differs depending upon the size of the block, but between ten and thirty minutes sitting in freshly boiled water will be plenty of time to soften and thaw the tamarind itself.

From there, you can use the tamarind as though it’s fresh. The best way to do this is to shell the tamarind and continue to soak it.

After a while, you’ll be able to make a small amount of tamarind paste, which is what most recipes call for. This recipe from Hot Thai Kitchen is particularly delicious.

Can You Refreeze Tamarind?

Yes, you can refreeze tamarind and expect it to last for as long as it otherwise would have done.

The only problem with that is that as the cells in the tamarind expand and contract in the freezer, they will lose texture over time.

Tamarind isn’t generally used for its texture, so this isn’t really a big deal. If it’s something that would concern you while cooking, then it may be worth considering for you.

In that case, chop the amount of tamarind that you’ll be using from the main block while it’s still frozen, and then place the frozen tamarind back into the freezer.

Does Tamarind Freeze Well?

Yes, tamarind freezes exceptionally well. This is because it has a fairly high-fat content for something as relatively small as it is.

The low amount of water in the object means that it’s virtually impossible to get the object to succumb to freezer burn. Therefore, it can last for a long time with very few complications.

The only drawback is that tamarind doesn’t freeze well when it’s being refrozen. Tamarind pods are joined to the external shell of the tamarind, which means that when the pods and shells expand and contract during freezing and thawing, this connection is broken.

This can cause a rupture in the tamarind shell, which can allow condensation to form within the shell, leading to a mini freezer burn. This might not sound like a huge deal, but tamarind can be quite pricey – ruining even a small portion of it can be incredibly disappointing and infuriating.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing tamarind or tamarind in general, then these may help:

What is the Best Way to Store Fresh Tamarind?

If you want to store fresh tamarind then the best way to store it is in the freezer. Tamarind will keep for years if you can keep moisture out of the pods which is easy to achieve in the freezer.

Can You Freeze Tamarind Paste?

Yes, it’s possible to freeze tamarind paste. Spoon portions of paste into a small ice cube tray and freeze the paste into cubes. Once frozen, you can pop these cubes out into a freezer bag.

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