Tamarind

Shelled Tamarind Pods 

Tamarind is a tart fruit used as a spice and souring agent. The fruit is shaped like a long bean, inside which is a sour pulp containing many seeds. The pulp can be pressed to form a block or processed to make a paste. Tamarind tastes a bit like a date but is less sweet (and more sour), and is sometimes known as the Indian date. It is a key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

Tamarind is used in the Middle East, India, Indonesia, the Caribbean, and Latin America in much the same way vinegars and lemon juice are in European cuisine. It is a basic flavouring for chutneys and is made into cooling drinks. The citric, sweet-sour flavour of tamarind goes well with chillies, and it is widely used in Mexico and in India with hot foods.

Other Names
Its name comes from the Arabic tamar hindi, which means “Indian date.” Its dark brown pulp reminded the nomadic Arabs, who imported tamarind from India since ancient times, of the familiar date.
Asam koh (China), cay me (Vietnam), Indian date (Britain), tamar hindi (Middle East)
Season
Fresh tamarind pods are in season in spring and early summer and may be found in Asian, Indian, and Caribbean markets and well-stocked supermarkets.
Purchase
Tamarind Paste 
Available in pods, blocks, or as a concentrate. Tamarind juice is also available and some Asian supermarkets may sell tamarind pods which can be eaten raw. Select clean, relatively unbroken pods.
Avoid
Do not buy old, dried-out tamarind.
Storage
Store the pods for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Preparation
  1. Cut open the pod and remove the flesh.

  2. Separate the tamarind flesh from the seeds by scraping with a knife or by rubbing the seeds against a bowl with a wooden spoon.

Serving Suggestions
Flavour Affinities

Category: Spices and Herbs

Sub Category: Spice