Tamarind

Tamarinds (Tamarindus indica, tamarin, tamarindo, or imli, of the family Leguminosae) are probably native to East Africa but were introduced into India long ago. The tamarind was well-known by the Egyptians and Greeks of the fourth century. The tamarind grows on a large evergreen tree of the family Leguminosae. The fruit is an irregularly shaped pod about 8 in. long. As the pod matures it turns into a brown, brittle shell containing a dry sticky pulp that surrounds red-brown seeds. Tender shoots and flowers are consumed as vegetables in salads, soups, and curries. Immature pods are used as seasoning for cooked rice, fish, and meats. Pulp from the mature pods is pressed into cakes and is valued as highly as dates and figs. Tamarind pulp is an important ingredient in barbecue sauces and as a fruit base in juices, jams, jellies, preserves, sherbets, dairy products, and alcoholic beverages (6).

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