Tamarind, or tamr-hindi, translates to “date of India”. Native to Africa, this fruit is so prevalent in India, many believed it originated there, hence the name. Till this day, India is the number one producer of tamarind.
Tamarind refers to the curved brownish brittle pod encasing deep brown soft, moist, fibrous pulp, and up to 10 glossy bean-like seeds. The seeds are often used in games in Africa, and in eye-drops to treat dry-eyes where the polysaccharides adheres to the surface of the eye for an extended about of time. The pulp contains tartaric acid that can polish tarnished copper and brass. It is also an important ingredient in many different cuisines. It is one of many ingredients in the infamous Worcestershire, and HP sauce. It is also the base for Pad Thai, in some curry sauces, and beverages.
There are many varieties of tamarind, one of the less sour kind is used to make our favourite candies with salt, sugar, and crushed chillis. They are a delight to nibble. Pop one in the mouth and it gets the saliva flowing, quenching thirst temporarily.