Tilapia over Tamarind Cauliflower Puree with Broccoli Slices

About: zoom to album

I was totally in the zone with this dish.  Tender and jucy with the fresh tamarind taste comming through like a breeze from the East.  The fresh tamarind paste was not only in the veggie's sauce on top of the Tilapia but also in the puree underneath it.  A satisfying culmination for my recent love affair with the pods.



  1. food
  2. tilapia
  3. fish
  4. tamarind
  5. cauliflower
  6. broccoli


Seth says
M 2010-11-04 12:11:45 14482
Where did you ultimately get your tamarinds?
Zoom images.  Actually after asking at several supermarkets and coming up blank ... i went back to those same supermarkets and found it.  Now i can get fresh tamarind pods at Fred Meyer, SeaFood City, and WinCo.  Perhaps this is a seasonal crop and it just came in.  

Working from left to right is dregs of pods and seeds after processing going into the garbage, extra virgin tamarind paste, and on the right tamarind water.   Last night i made tamarind chocolate moose ... this afternoon i'm gonna attempt tamarind mayo.  I think you can substitute tamarind wherver you would use lemon and vinegar.

Seth says
C 2010-10-23 10:36:56 14482
The scatalogical morphology is brilliant!
proving once again the beauty is in the eye of the beholder! 

Actually the color of the pure tamarind sauce doesn't end up being as dark brown as the untreated fruit would lend you to believe.  It's much lighter.  What i did to get that color in the final product was to soak dates and mash them and add them for the extra sweetness. 

In addition to flavoring the two sauces used in the Tilapia dish above it also ended up in some tarts pictured here.  I though they were yummy ... denise seemed to expect more of a pican tart and didn't like.

Mark de LA says
C 2010-10-23 13:45:08 14482
seth 2010-10-23 12:44:57 14482
C 2010-10-23 11:26:25 14482
If D was expecting pecan pie super sugar sweetness I can understand why.
Well yes ... that goes to highlight one of the dominant features of human nature ... we tend to perceive what we expect to perceive ... but when the signals don't match the expectations, we go tilt ... it being hard to switch contexts in mid perception.   Certainly something to keep in mind when we interpret perceptions of ourselves ... huh?
Yes, indeed! Still that turd tart is kind of enticing!
Here is a thought to go with your brown leftovers for dinner! Maybe I am at the effect of this onto-psycho-somatic engine of mine (brain+body+being) , but at least I can focus it to some purpose I choose. It's a big engine with massive capabilities or at least it can cause massive waves throughout time & history. Focus is the key - I am free to choose the focus given some span in time & a desire to override the noise with my own signal.

Seth says
Perhaps the brown in dates and tamarind is unfortunate.  I know, your suppose to cook with colors too.  I'm not quite there yet.  For me this tamarind thingey is all about the taste.  It is sour, when it is sour, but in a way that is more friendly then lemon ... less pointed ... more rounded at the top.  When it is sweet ... and yes there are varieties ... it is almost as sweet as dates, yet with the promise of sour in the background.  Sweet has to have something to plays against ... and that is sour ... it is one of the big dualities of taste.  Tamarind just gives us another color on the pallet outside of lemon yellow.

Denise hasn't tried the tilapia dish yet ... i will resurrect the chilled fish and tamarind sauces this afternoon and we will see how it is received.  Picture and review perhaps later this afternoon

Mark de LA says
... & make my own noise!

Seth says
Yes indeed ... signal away ... and let your signal be heard ...

C says
seth 2010-11-06 10:59:23 14482
C 2010-11-06 10:14:51 14482
seth 2010-11-06 10:03:21 14482
seth 2010-11-06 09:55:18 14482
source: M above
Was surprised it was as sweet as I was expecting maxi-sour.
It may be that the longer you let the pods go, the more sour they get.  But i really don't know.  That would appear to be the opposite of most fruits.   What i do is make some date paste the same way as i make the tamarind paste and then mix the two together to get the sweet-sour mix desired.  The most successful tamarindy flavored thing i've made was the mayo and i'm anxious to try that as a sauce over fish.  I've mixed it with chocolate to make a confection but it didn't set and remained too moist for a chocolate candy ... good though.
Oh and i made a chocolate tamarind mousse ... it was my first mousse ... but denise stuck her nose up at it ... something to do with it being too stiff and sweet ... me i though it was deliciously sour/sweet.
As long as we are on tamarind, what is your formula for the tamarind mayo?

Basically its the same as Lemon Zest Mayo on Artichokes but substitute the tamarind paste suitable adjusted for sweet-sour for the lemon.  I discovered that chilling the grape seed oil in the fridge or even the freezer improves the texture.  Next time i make it i'll try to measure a bit more precisely and make a new item just for it.

Seth says
M 2010-11-06 09:11:19 14482
seth 2010-11-06 08:48:54 14482
M 2010-11-06 08:36:10 14482
T got some tamarinds at WinCO. Do you boil the wole things pods & all, just the seeds with the fruit on them or take the fruit off the seeds?

I take the sticky seeds out of the outer hard shell.  Sometimes you can crush one end and just pull them out by the strings that are attached.  Separate them from the strings and discard outer shells and strings.  Then i cover them with just a bit of water ... use as little water as possible if you want nice thick paste.  Then i heat that, but don't boil, for maybe 15 minutes.  Then go after it with a potato masher.  Pound the paste away from the seeds.  Don't be afraid to pound it hard.  Then put the whole mixture in a strainer and push as much of the paste through with a spoon.  That's what i referred to as virgin tamarind paste.  It should be about the texture of apple sauce. 

If you want to kind of grock what tamarind is all about, especially if you managed to get some sweet tamarind pods, bite off one of the seed pods and just suck it in your mouth.  It's a great little candy treat.
Yep, I sucked one off. Was surprised it was as sweet as I was expecting maxi-sour. Do the seeds disintegrate into the paste? They appear hard enough to make neclaces out of them.

They are hard ... i tried to bust one with a hammer to no avail.   I'll bet they have been used as projectiles ... don't let the defense department find out about this.  Lot's of luck with them disintegrating into the paste.

Seth says

 zoom image.  last step in preparing tamarind paste.  After i push as much through the strainer as possible, withouth spending too much effort,  i throw the dregs in a pan with lots of water, boil that for a while, then strain it and that's the way i get tamarind water ... which is great to drink, especially mixed with gree tea, and sweetening to taste. 

Seth says
C 2010-11-08 14:41:20 14482
Yep I made some tamarind mayo to go over our salmon cakes last night.  The mayo was a bit sweet for my taste, but the tang lasted quite a while in the mouth.  I didn't rewash the seeds & stuff, but will probably do so next time.  BTW, is gree tea sort of like green tea mixed with ghee? T liked it!
I am wondering how well it might work for Eggs Benedict instead of hollandaise sauce.

Tamarind hollandaise is definitely on my to-do list.  "gree tea" is definitely a typo, but i'm glad it served as a culunary inspiration for you .

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