The reddish brown, curved seed pods of a lovely tropical tree hold several large seeds encased by moist, sticky, dark brown flesh that varies from being very sweet to very sour. Tamarind has small compound leaves with yellow flowers and brown fruits. The fleshy pulp of the fruit is acidic. The tamarind fruit is used as a food crop and as a flavouring ingredient in a wide range of foods. The fruit is encased within a brown pod. Inside the pod of the tamarind is a soft, brown pulp with hard-coated black seeds. It is this pulp that people eat to get all the nutritional and health benefits of the tamarind. The pulp of the tamarind has a very sour taste while it is young, but as it ripens the pulp gets sweeter. Though the pulp will sweeten with age, the tamarind generally has a sour, acidic taste.
Commonly used in:
Tamarind is used in many candies and dishes, and also as a spice in curries. When separated from the shell and seeds, the mature, brown sticky pulp can be made into chutneys. Tamarind is used as a souring agent that adds a pleasant fruity taste.
Among other things, tamarind is a rich source of vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium and other nutrients necessary for good health. It is also a good source of antioxidants that fight against cancer and also contains carotenes, vitamin C, flavonoids and the B-vitamins. Being rich in vitamin C it cures scurvy. Tamarind lowers cholesterol and promotes a healthy heart.