Rosa's Thai Doily Graphic Rosa's Thai Doily Graphic

Tamarind dipping sauce

(Nam mah kham)

Makes 300ml (1/2 pint)

20 mins

Pretty Easy

Taramind is a very popular fruit in Thailand, the plant is found all over the country. Phetchabun, my hometown province, is well known for its tamarind produce so I grew up with the best sauces that are made fresh from tamarind pulp. My family loves to make this tamarind dipping sauce recipe every time we have a barbecue party – and that’s most weekends – because it goes with every kind of grilled dishes. You can make a large batch and it will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.


Rosas Thai tamarind dipping sauce in small glass bowls with Stir graphic


  • 100ml tamarind paste

  • 250ml warm water

  • 4 tablespoons demerara sugar (or brown sugar)

  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

  • 50ml light soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fried onion (available ready-to-use from Asian supermarkets, or you can prepare your own)


  1. Add the tamarind paste, water and sugar to the saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add chilli powder, soy sauces and fried onion to the saucepan. Then heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens.
  3. Wait until the sauce bubbles (about 5-10 minutes, depending on the batch size) then take off the heat. Leave to cool before serving.

The sauce should taste sweet and sour, with a tangy aftertaste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 4 weeks.


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