Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) is a leguminous tree (family Fabaceae) bearing edible fruit that is indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is monotypic, meaning that it contains only this species.
The tamarind tree produces brown, pod-like fruits that contain a sweet, tangy pulp, which is used in cuisines around the world. The pulp is also used in traditional medicine and as a metal polish. The tree’s wood can be used for woodworking and tamarind seed oil can be extracted from the seeds. Tamarind’s tender young leaves are used in Indian cuisine. Because tamarind has multiple uses, it is cultivated around the world in tropical and subtropical zones.
Tamarind paste has many culinary uses including a flavoring for chutnies, curries, and the traditional sharbat syrup drink.
Tamarind sweet chutney is popular in India and Pakistan as a dressing for many snacks. Tamarind pulp is a key ingredient in flavoring curries and rice in south Indian cuisine, in the Chigali lollipop, and in certain varieties of Masala Chai tea.
Across the Middle East, from the Levant to Iran, tamarind is used in savory dishes, notably meat-based stews, and often combined with dried fruits to achieve a sweet-sour tang.
In the Philippines, the whole fruit is used as an ingredient in the traditional dish called sinigang to add a unique sour taste, unlike that of dishes that use vinegar instead. Indonesia also has a similarly sour, tamarind-based soup dish called sayur asem.
In Mexico and the Caribbean, the pulp is diluted with water and sugared to make an agua fresca drink.
Medicinal uses :
Throughout Southeast Asia, the fruit of the tamarind is used as a poultice applied to foreheads of fever sufferers. The fruit exhibits laxative effects due to its high quantities of malic acid, tartaric acid, and potassium bitartrate. Its use for the relief of constipation has been documented throughout the world.
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