Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Tamarind Popcorn

Tamarind (Chintapandu, Imli)
Tamarind (Chintapandu, Imli)

Native to India, tamarind is prized for its intense sweet and sour flavor. A pantry staple, tamarind is added to dals, rasams, and sambars. Tamarind based pulusu and rice are lip smackingly good. For chutneys and pacchadis, tamarind is a must. Then there is tamarind-jaggery-cumin candy, a childhood favorite lollipop. I grew up having tamarind in different avatars. I love and prepare all the above tamarind-based preparations regularly at my home.

To celebrate Jihva-Tamarind, I wanted to try something new and unique. Constant thinking about it led to this tamarind flavored popcorn idea. Tamarind, salt, chilli powder, and for sweetness I added dates. Blend the ingredients together and simmer to concentrate the flavor. Coat the corn kernels with thick syrup and then microwave. Pop, pop, pop… Like the Polar skies lit with Aurora Borealis, the Tamarindus Indica seem to ignite a sublimely spectacular ruchi in popcorn. All natural and no nasty additives, and tasty. A date with tamarind popcorn is a must try for flavor-popcorn fans. I totally recommend.

Tamarind Syrup and Corn Kernels
Tamarind Syrup and Corn Kernels

Tamarind Popcorn

Plain corn kernels suitable for popcorn – about a quarter cup
Ping-Pong ball sized tamarind pulp, 6 dates, quarter teaspoon each – chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Take them all in a blender. Add about a cup of water. Puree to smooth.

Take the syrup in a thick-bottomed vessel and simmer until the volume reduces to half. This helps to concentrate the flavor. Cool. Lightly coat the corn kernels with syrup. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with another bowl. Microwave to pop the corn. Have a taste, and if required sprinkle salt and some chilli powder to taste. Toss and enjoy.

Tamarind Popcorn
Tamarind Popcorn and Sugarcane Juice
For JFI-Tamarind Event, Hosted by Lovely Sig of Live to Eat

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chintapandu(Tamarind),Corn - Fresh,Jihva For Ingredients (Monday June 30, 2008 at 1:20 pm- permalink)
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Khatti Dal ~ Hyderabad Style

Even though I am partial to golden yellow toor dal, I do think of masoor dal as the prettiest dal of all dals/lentils. Round and in reddish pink, they look like cute bindis. When cooked, they turn to tasty yellow mush. Masoor dal is rarely used in Andhra cooking and only place where you can find masoor dal recipes is Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra. People in the city prepare a dal called “Khatti dal” with masoor dal. Here masoor dal is cooked and seasoned with tamarind juice and ginger-garlic paste. Mildly sweet, pungent and tart, khatti dal dazzles the taste buds and tastes great on its own or with rice/chapatis.

Masoor Dal, Tomato and Tamarind (squeezed and strained juice)


1 cup masoor dal
1 tomato – finely chopped
¼ cup of finely chopped green chilli
¼ tsp each – turmeric, cumin and ginger-garlic paste
½ tsp salt or to taste
1 small lime sized tamarind pieces
Soak in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze and using a tea filter strain the juice to remove particles.

Wash and rinse the dal first. Take masoor dal in a big pot. Add 5 cups of water along with tomato, green chilli, turmeric, cumin and ginger-garlic paste. Mix and on high heat bring to a boil.

Then reduce the heat to medium and partially cover the pot with a lid. Simmer until the dal reaches fall apart stage. Takes about 15 minutes. At this time, stir in tamarind juice and salt. Mix and cook the dal for another 5 minutes.

The cooked dal will be so soft, I usually do not mash the dal. But if you like smooth consistency, go ahead and puree the dal using an immersion blender or wood masher.

Now do the popu or tadka. In a tadka pan or in a skillet, heat about a tablespoon of ghee or oil. Add and toast one after another, half teaspoon each – minced garlic, small pieces of dried red chilli, curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds – in the order mentioned. When mustard seeds start to jump around, add the cooked dal to the popu. Mix and serve with rice or with chapati.

Dazzling Dals: Khatti Dal with Chapatis ~ Our afternoon meal today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Chintapandu(Tamarind),Masoor Dal (Red Lentils) (Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 1:43 pm- permalink)
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