Tamarind is a fruit native to Africa and India with a long history of being used in cuisine and medicine. It is tart, sweet, and savory, making it a unique and versatile ingredient.
The best-known use of tamarind is in Indian cuisine. It is popularly used in chutneys, sauces, curries, and even to add a depth of flavor to drinks.
The tamarind tree is drought-resistant and well-suited to tropical climates.
The tamarind tree leaves and bark also have medicinal uses, including applications as an antiseptic, astringent, and expectorant.
The tamarind fruit ripens to a dark brown, with a pinkish pulp inside.
The tamarind pulp is rich in Vitamin C and has medicinal properties to help with indigestion, sore throats, and congestion.
Unripe tamarinds are often used in savory dishes, while ripe fruit is used in sweet dishes.
Tamarind paste makes a distinctive salad dressing in Brazil called vinaigrette.
In Thailand, tamarind makes a sour condiment sauce called nam phrik tam som.
The tamarind seed can be eaten and is sometimes used to make oil.
The pulp is an emollient in cosmetics and skin care products.