January 28th, 2009


Tamarind Pickled Rhubarb and Redcurrants

Sous-vide cooking has brought a lot of joy to me. I love to discover and experiment with new ingredients and equipment.I received the water bath as a gift from Ross  and this made me really excited as I could play with something unknown to me. Along with the water bath, Ross invested in a few books,’ Under Pressure’ by Thomas Keller and’ Sous-Vide Cuisine’ by Joan Roca and Salvador Brugue. However nothing can replace hands on experience and tutoring which we were able to enjoy when we joined chef John Campbell ( two Michelin stars) in his kitchen.He has been working for several years now with water bath cooking and it was a wonderful experience and a great privilege for me to have been taught by a great chef ,the art of sous-vide cooking. By cooking food in the water bath at low temperatures encourages the flavours to develop and become incredibly intense.

Now onto the subject of forced rhubarb. I have already shown my love for this highly seasonal vegetable when I chatted about it in the vanilla sous-vide rhubarb recipe. Combining the tart but tender rhubarb with tart redcurrants and then throwing in a bit of tamarind I found that it made a wonderful combination. Using rhubarb for savoury dishes is nothing new or out of the ordinary, so we should not forget about the compatibility of the vegetable.


The redcurrants came from Ross’s dad  garden and every year we receive a large quantity from his crop which we  freeze. This enables me to enjoy these luscious little fruits when I have the urge. Last year I had great success with redcurrants not only did I develop this brilliant number but I also cooked a fantastic strawberry and redcurrant jam, now that is mouthwatering delicious!

Tamarind Pickling Syrup
  • tamarind_rhubarb_recurrants100g unrefined caster sugar
  • 2 whole sweet tamarind pods
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 200ml filtered tap or natural spring water
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 3 of each whole white and black peppercorn
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • salt

Remove the pod from the tamarind; place the sticky pulp in a small saucepan.

Add the rest of the pickling ingredients.

Bring the pickling syrup to the boil over low heat, gently shake the pan to ensure that the sugar dissolves, and do not stir if you can avoid it. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and boil for five minutes to a sticky syrup, turn the heat off and let the liquid cool in the saucepan for 10 minutes.

Remove the tamarind seeds, the whole peppercorns and the bay leaf.

sous_vide_temperaturesBlend the pickling liquid until smooth. Cool completely.

  • 200g fresh forced rhubarb
  • 100g frozen redcurrants
  • 1 star anise
  • Tamarind pickling syrup

Preheat the water bath to 61°C.

Wash the rhubarb and cut into 6cm long by 1.5cm thick batons.

Place the rhubarb and the frozen redcurrants in a vacuum pack bag; add the star anise and pour the cold pickling syrup into the bag and seal the bag on hard vacuum.

Place the bag in the preheated water bath at 61°C for 15 minutes.

Cool the bag in ice water.

Refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours before using, I find that the tamarind pickled rhubarb and redcurrants taste better after 2 days.

Food Fanatic Tip

Serve with a good quality cheddar cheese and sour dough bread for a cheese platter or serve with Confit duck legs

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One Comment to “Tamarind Pickled Rhubarb and Redcurrants”

  1. Dominic Eckstein says:

    Hey just wanted to say how smart this pickle is have adapted it to go with some cured duck pastrami with shavings of rye toast, water cress and winter pansy’s, another very smart use of flavours i should thank you really as it was this site that really turned me on to Tamarind. So big hugs and happy cooking

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