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HomeNewsArchivesTAMARIND-PASTE BASTING THAT STICKS TO YOUR RIBS

TAMARIND-PASTE BASTING THAT STICKS TO YOUR RIBS

April 6, 2003 – For a twist, try flavoring your ribs with tamarind instead of plain old barbecue sauce.
The tamarind is an evergreen tree native to Africa. The brown pods contain small seeds (about a dozen per pod) and a very tart pulp, which is used as an acid or souring agent in cooking. The pods start out green then become brown and brittle when ripe. The pods are opened to dry in the sun, and the sticky dark maroon-brown pulp and shiny seeds are scraped out, sometimes mixed with salt, and pressed into pliant bricks. Before the pulp can be used, the seeds must be strained out.
In the Virgin Islands, tamarind pulp is most often made into a drink or candy. However, in a thicker paste form, it also can be incorporated into grilling glazes, curries and barbecue sauces.
To make tamarind paste at home, combine 1/4 cup warm water for every 1 ½ tablespoons of tamarind pulp with seeds. Soak the pulp in the water until soft, from 5 to 15 minutes. With your fingers, rub the pulp until dissolved and the seeds are free of pulp. Strain and discard the seeds and fibers. Use this mixture as is or boil it gently until it takes on a thicker paste-like consistency.
Spicy Tamarind Ribs
Ribs:
4 racks pork ribs (3 pounds each)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large can plum tomatoes and juices
1 cup water 1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
To make the ribs: Preheat grill to medium-low heat. Brush ribs on both sides with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill ribs slowly with the cover closed for 2 to 3 hours over medium to medium-low heat until tender, turning every 10 minutes. During last 15 minutes of grilling, baste with some of the tamarind barbecue sauce. Remove from the grill and immediately brush with more sauce.
To make the sauce: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add ginger and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add spices and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, water, brown sugar, tamarind paste and hot pepper and stir to combine.
Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add cilantro and place in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 682 calories, 41 gms fat (46 percent fat calories), 132 mg cholesterol, 443 mg sodium.

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April 6, 2003 - For a twist, try flavoring your ribs with tamarind instead of plain old barbecue sauce.
The tamarind is an evergreen tree native to Africa. The brown pods contain small seeds (about a dozen per pod) and a very tart pulp, which is used as an acid or souring agent in cooking. The pods start out green then become brown and brittle when ripe. The pods are opened to dry in the sun, and the sticky dark maroon-brown pulp and shiny seeds are scraped out, sometimes mixed with salt, and pressed into pliant bricks. Before the pulp can be used, the seeds must be strained out.
In the Virgin Islands, tamarind pulp is most often made into a drink or candy. However, in a thicker paste form, it also can be incorporated into grilling glazes, curries and barbecue sauces.
To make tamarind paste at home, combine 1/4 cup warm water for every 1 ½ tablespoons of tamarind pulp with seeds. Soak the pulp in the water until soft, from 5 to 15 minutes. With your fingers, rub the pulp until dissolved and the seeds are free of pulp. Strain and discard the seeds and fibers. Use this mixture as is or boil it gently until it takes on a thicker paste-like consistency.
Spicy Tamarind Ribs
Ribs:
4 racks pork ribs (3 pounds each)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large can plum tomatoes and juices
1 cup water 1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
To make the ribs: Preheat grill to medium-low heat. Brush ribs on both sides with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill ribs slowly with the cover closed for 2 to 3 hours over medium to medium-low heat until tender, turning every 10 minutes. During last 15 minutes of grilling, baste with some of the tamarind barbecue sauce. Remove from the grill and immediately brush with more sauce.
To make the sauce: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add ginger and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add spices and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, water, brown sugar, tamarind paste and hot pepper and stir to combine.
Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add cilantro and place in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 682 calories, 41 gms fat (46 percent fat calories), 132 mg cholesterol, 443 mg sodium.

Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.