With the blessings of Lord Krishna
Tamarind, sugar, cardamom, black pepper
Earthy in color and with the power to make you salivate just opening the jar, this smooth and fragrant jam was designed to pair with roasted or grilled meat – it goes especially well on chicken – and with cheese. Cardamom, balanced with a tiny touch of black pepper, makes it one of our most aromatic jams.
I like spicy but I’m not such a big fan of sour flavors. So when my uncle Ziro (my dad’s brother) brought me a bag of tamarind he had harvested himself I may not have been able to conceal my disappointment. He could have brought me a bag of mangoes. Or soursops. Or oranges even. But tamarind?! And with that very blessed smile of his, he told me ‘make a jam with it’. OMG. I freaked out. I could not discard them, but I didn’t have a clue what to do with them. So I decided to freeze them and wait for divine inspiration. And so it happened in India.
I will never be able to remember the name of the dish, but I was served a luscious piece of chicken breast with a rich sauce made of… yes!... tamarinds! The aroma hypnotized. I could identify cardamom and a few other masala ingredients… Back in Brazil. I defrosted my uncle’s gift and days later I was ready to ship him a jar of this smooth, shining jam!
Though native to Africa, tamarind is considered a sacred plant in India, sacred to Lord Krishna. Several medicinal properties are attributed to its fruit and to its leaves.
Just as is its relative, ginger, cardamom is a herb native to the Indian Subcontinent. Its pods contain several small seeds which are only slightly less expensive than vanilla and saffron. It is an ingredient widely used in Indian cuisine.