5 Amazing Tamarind Substitutes

by Komal Narwani last updated -

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If you run out of tamarind while you are in the middle of preparing pad Thai or Indian curry, here’s how you can fool your taste buds for tamarind.

Tamarind Substitutes

The best tamarind substitutes are pomegranate molasses, mango powder, Worcestershire sauce, citrus marmalade, or ketchup. Certain ‘combination’ substitutes of tamarind include a blend of lime or lemon juice with sugar, white sugar with vinegar, raisins with lemon juice, prunes or dates with lemon juice.

Lemon or Lime Juice & Sugar

The sourness of lemon or lime juice and the sweetness of sugar is a perfect alternative for tangy tamarind. If you have to substitute one tablespoon of tamarind, use half a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice with half a tablespoon of sugar.

Sweet ripe tamarind pods with leaflets on a wooden background

Adding a small slice of tamarind peel to curries can get you a tangy taste in them. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Mango Powder

Made from dried unripe mangoes, mango powder (amchur or amchoor) is the second-best tamarind substitute. This is usually available in powdered form.Use one and a half teaspoons each of mango powder and water (for moisture) to replace one teaspoon of tamarind.

Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is a concentrated syrup of pomegranate juice. Use the same amount of this substitute as the tamarind in your dish.

Citrus Marmalade

Although slightly different in taste, citrus marmalade has the same texture as tamarind paste and can be a good substitute. Use equal measures for the desired taste.

White Wine and Sugar

A bottle and glass of white wine against a dark background

White wines are often used as an apéritif before a meal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A combination of white wine and sugar provides the sweet and sour taste of tamarind.


You can use a dash of ketchup or an equal amount of Worcestershire sauce (Worcester sauce) in place of tamarind.

Finish preparing your Indian curry with no tamarind substitute worry!

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About the Author

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Komal is a quirky writer. She loves to add a touch of creativity to everything she does. She has a diverse background in teaching biology, working as an analyst, and freelancing as a content writer. There are only two ways she can express herself, first is words and second is dance.

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