Friday, October 22, 2021


Tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) is an arboreal fruit belonging to the family Fabaceae. Tamarind fruit was at first thought to be produced by an Indian palm, as the name tamarind comes from a Persian word ‘tamar-i-hind’, meaning ‘date of India’. Its name ‘amlika’ in Sanskrit indicates its ancient presence in the country.

In Spanish and Portuguese, it is called tamarindo; in French, tamarinier, tamarinde; in Dutch and German, tamarinde; in Italian, tamarindizio; in Hindi, it is known as tamarind, tamrulhindi and it has other local names as well.

The tamarind fruit pulp is an excellent source of sugars and vitamin B, in addition to minerals and phenolic compounds as antioxidants.

The most outstanding characteristic of tamarind is its most acidic nature with total acidity range varying from 12.2 to 23.8 per cent as tartaric acid. The sweetness of ripe tamarind fruit is outweighed by tartaric acid which has an intensively acidic taste.

Due to its high sugar concentration and low pH, it can be used in different industrial products like concentrates, pickles, confections, powdered.

Almost all parts of tree find some use, but the most useful is the fruit (pod). Fruit pulp is brown or reddish-brown when mature and the fruit pod contains between 1 and 12 flat and glossy brown seeds. Tamarind pulp, seeds and shell are about 55%, 34%, and 11%, respectively, of the tamarind fruit.

Tamarind fruit pulp has been an important culinary ingredient in India since ages. In most of the tamarind-growing countries, pulp is pressed and preserved in large masses and sold in small shops and markets by weight.

The sticky pulp is often eaten fresh, but has many other culinary uses, for example in pickles, jam, candy, juices, curries, sauces, chutneys and certain drinks. The immature green pods are often eaten by children and adults dipped in salt as a snack.

It is also most often enjoyed in the form of refreshing drinks and beverages. Tamarind extract is used as a replacement of phosphoric acid, citric acid and other acids used in soft drinks.

In Sri Lanka, tamarind is widely used in cuisine as an alternative to lime and also in pickles and chutneys. In the Bahamas, fully grown but still unripe fruits are roasted in coal, the skin is then peeled back and the sizzling pulp is dipped in wood ash and eaten.

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