English Name: Tamarind
Common Indian Name (Hindi): Imli
- Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) grows extensively throughout the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and the West Indies.
- The pods are 3 - 8 inch long, brown, irregularly curved. When fully ripe, the shells of pods are brittle and easily broken. They contain a sticky pulp enclosing one to ten shiny black seeds. The pulp has a pleasing sweet/sour flavor and is high in both acid and sugar. It is also rich in vitamin B and high in calcium.
- It is available as a pressed fibrous slab, or as a jam like bottled concentrate, and some Indian shops carry the dried pods.
- Tamarind juice or paste is used as a souring agent, particularly in south Indian and Gujarati lentil dishes, curries and chutneys.
- Tamarind contains pectin which is used in the manufacturing process of commercially produced jams, jellies, fruit drinks, and is vital to Worcestershire sauce.
- Tamarind is considered a mild laxative and digestive.
- It is used to treat bronchial disorders and gargling with tamarind water is recommended for a sore throat.