I would like to talk about the holy trinity. No, I don’t mean leeks, carrots and celery. The holy trinity I’m talking about is tamarind, chile, and ginger. In fact, I think there is no more blessed union, or, if you prefer, no hotter ménage á trois. The marinade (really, a wet rub) I made using these ingredients as a base literally cannot be improved upon. It is rich, complicated, savory, tangy, and spicy. In short, it is freaking AWESOME. Use it for any kind of meat. I put this on steaks last night that I then seared rare, but I suspect it would be fantastic on pork. Or lamb. Or chicken. Or duck. You get the idea. You could probably even elevate tofu to a whole new plain. Here’s the recipe.
A one and a half inch (three cm) knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
A thai chile, stemmed, seeds removed, and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon brown Indian mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
Toast the coriander seeds and brown mustard seeds until the mustard starts to pop and the coriander begins to brown and release an aroma, then remove from heat. In a mortar and pestle, pound the ginger and chile pepper into a paste. Add the toasted coriander and brown mustard seeds and the salt and continue to pound/mash until fully incorporated. Stir in the tamarind concentrate.
Rub all over your meat of choice, and allow to marinate for at least two and up to six hours. Grill, pan sear, or broil. Achieve nirvana.