What can I substitute for Tamarind paste?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for tamarind paste”. 

Read on to know about the best substitutes of tamarind paste that gives the same taste, flavour, and almost the same aroma to the food as tamarind paste.

What can I substitute for Tamarind paste?

Tamarind paste can be best substituted with pomegranate molasses, lime juice and brown sugar, dried fruit and lemon juice, rice vinegar, amchur powder, marmalade and also tamarind pulp.

Tamarind paste

Tamarind paste is used in cooking for adding sweet, sour, and citrus flavour to the dish. You can elevate your well-being by making it an essential part of your diet. The tamarind tree is very famous among natives of Pakistan and India. Despite the benefits of tamarind in cooking, it is also beneficial to health.

Substitutes of tamarind paste:

if you don’t have tamarind paste for your dish then you can add substitutes of tamarind paste in your dish. Here are few substitutes mentioned below:

Pomegranate molasses:

Pomegranate molasses can be used as a substitute for tamarind paste. Its consistency is thick, and it is of dark colour that is produced from pomegranate juice. Just like tamarind paste, it gives a sweet and sour flavour. 

Mostly it is preferred in India and Pakistan. You can get vitamin B and vitamin C from pomegranate molasses. There is a low level of sugar, calcium, and iron in pomegranate molasses.

It is also cholesterol-free and has no fats. That’s why this can be the substitute for tamarind paste as it is beneficial for flavour and health as well.

Lime juice and brown sugar:

As a substitute for tamarind, you can add lime juice to have the taste of tart and you can add brown sugar to maintain the sweet balance.

These substitutes should be used in equal quantities. If the demand of the recipe is 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste, then add an equal quantity of them.

Dried fruits and lemon juice:

Lemon juice and dried fruits combo can also be used as a substitute for tamarind paste. Dried fruits could be chopped prunes, dates, and apricots. Mix these dried fruits and lemon juice and add some water to the bowl. Leave this mixture for 20 to 30 minutes covered.

After 30 minutes, strain the water out of it and blend well. The paste is ready. You can use this paste in equal quantities as tamarind paste.

Instead of prunes, dates, and apricots, you can also use raisins.

Rice vinegar:

If you run out of tamarind paste in your kitchen or stores and you have rice vinegar and brown sugar around you, then you can combine them and can use them as a substitute for tamarind paste.

It would provide the same sour and sweet taste in your dish. 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar contains no calories, less than 1 gram of fat and sugar. It contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. It is rich in antioxidants that are beneficial for reducing damage to cells.

Vinegar is used in equal quantities as tamarind paste.

Amchur powder:

Amchur powder can also be used as a substitute for tamarind paste. It gives an acidic and sour flavour to the dish. In north India, it is the most popular substitute for cooking. It gives a pleasant aroma in cooking. To make a paste of amchur powder, it is mixed with water in equal quantities.

Amchur powder is helpful for indigestion. Ingredients of amchur powder have antioxidants in them.


An equal quantity of marmalade can also be used as a substitute for tamarind paste. It provides a bitter and sweet taste to the dish.

Marmalade is rich in vitamin C; it is beneficial for repairing tissues in our body, it produces collagen as well. If you are on a food diet, then you should avoid marmalade because it is rich in sugar.

Moreover, you can use it spread on the toast of bread (it contains 69 calories in it).

Tamarind pulp:

If you have got an area store that sells tamarind pulp, then you’ll create an authentic paste with it. try and get your hands on the pulp while not seeds; if not, you’ll take away the seeds and separate the pulp as you create the paste. Mix two tablespoons of pulp with a half cup of heat water and let the pulp soak till soft. 

Then merely rub the pulp through your hands to make a paste. If your pulp has seeds, remove them at this stage. Once the pulp appears a lot like paste, strain out the water.

Other FAQs about Tamarind that you may be interested in.

Can you eat tamarind seeds?


In this brief article, various substitutes for tamarind paste are discussed along with their health benefits. These substitutes should be used in the quantity that is mentioned in this article otherwise it could bring changes in the taste.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.