Tamarinds were an interesting experiment. Not so much a successful experiment, but an interesting one. I learned a lesson about food this time. Sometimes, just sometimes some foods are meant to just be enjoyed in their natural state. I believe tamarinds are one of them.
Later, I decided I was going to challenge myself to find something useful to make with these bizarre exotic fruit. I looked them up on the internet, which is where anyone goes to find anything, at any time these days. I didn't find a whole lot helpful other than making tamarind paste (to be used for who knows what?) and that you could toast and eat the seeds. Ok... maybe I was getting somewhere.
So experiment day comes. I buy my few dollars worth of tamarinds (reserving just a few to snack on, because at this point they're becoming a favorite treat.) The bulk gets shucked, de-veined, de-seeded, and broken into pieces tamarind paste.
I begin the paste with water and tamarind pieces, heating it gently on the stove. Not much happens other than they get a little slippery. I heat them more, they get a bit gooey. More heat, more gooey. More heat, more gooey... but really nothing resembling a useful product. My curiosity gets me and I taste it. Aweful! The slight sweetness that the raw fruit had has disappeared and it's pure bitter. Gross!
Ok, well... I'll just let that simmer and I'll toast up some of these seeds. At least those will be useful!
The internet's instructions were pretty basic. Heat seeds in a dry pan until they crack, then eat and enjoy. Simple enough even for me. I do as all the directions to tell me to and it worked! Well, it worked if you like eating pebbles. Pebbles that taste like charcoal. The shells never cracked or popped like all the internet instructions said they would. I just ended up with what tasted like scorched little rocks.