June 15, 2011

Tamarind burgers

Tamarind burgers

About a month ago, I was doing my groceries and decided to make an Indonesian beef stew. I didn't exactly know what ingredients I needed so I called my mom (who did an Indonesian cooking class in the past) and one of the ingredients she mentioned was Tamarind paste.
Of course I couldn't find that at a regular supermarket so I just left it out. My mom did happen to find it a health food store and brought me a jar. I didn't really know how to use it, although I have been eating candied tamarind a few times. Tonight I decided to put some of it into burgers and it's really good!
It adds so much flavour without tasting overly sour or salty. It has a unique taste, in a good way. So if you don't know what to do with your tamarind paste, you could try these burgers.
Next time I might make some kind of sauce with it.


While enjoying my burgers another question popped to my mind; is tamarind even Paleo?? It comes from a pod after all, so it looks like a legume, although I believe it is actually a fruit. Plus it's processed (with some oil and added salt) so that doesn't make it a very good choice either.
I did some googling and found out that tamarind is very good to treat digestive issues, it's detoxifying and fights cancer because of the antioxidants it has. It also grows from a tree, isn't a grain, and you can even eat it raw! Sounds pretty Paleo to me. As long as you don't eat too much of it (it does contain quite some carbs), you will be fine while on a regular, not too strict Paleo diet.



I don't know why but I'm really hungry these days. Pretty much all the time. Although they might partially be cravings as well..
While I do make sure I eat sufficient amounts of protein, fat and veggies, I still feel like I haven't been eating enough. Weird.. And that's why I ended up eating a small bowl of desiccated coconut mixed with coconut milk and cocoa tonight.
Next question: is cocoa Paleo and is it allowed on the Whole 30?
I ended up reading the 'Great Cocoa Debate' on the Whole 9 Life website, which made me realise all the more that I'm totally addicted to carbs. I hardly ever eat real chocolate anymore, because it contains sugar, so I just replace it by mixing coconut with cocoa, which might be healthier, but it doesn't change my relationship with food and cravings for sweetness. Concluded: it's better if I don't have any cocoa while on the Whole 30.




Tamarind burgers (serves 3)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 400g ground beef
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp coconut oil


1. In a food processor, combine onion and cilantro and pulse for a few seconds until finely chopped.
2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the coconut oil, and process until well-combined.
3. Using your hands, divide the mixture into 6 balls and flatten them to make burgers and put them on a plate.
4. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers for 3-4 minutes on each side over medium-low heat, until cooked and browned.
5. Serve with veggies of your choice and enjoy!

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