Phone

Foods

Tamarind
Why Eat It
Shopping
Storage
Preparation


Why Eat It

The tamarind fruit, also known as tamarindo or Indian date, is a thick, dark brown or reddish-brown pulp surrounding small seeds inside a hard, brittle bean-shaped pod. The flavor of the date-like pulp is both tart and sweet, resembling a combination of apricots, dates, and lemons.

Employed widely in Indian and Asian cooking, Tamarind adds a piquant flavor to chutneys and curries. It is also used in marinades for meat and poultry, and is a key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

Tamarind contains the soluble fiber pectin--a substance that is used in the manufacturing process of some commercially produced jams and jellies.

Shopping

Tamarind is most likely to be found in Indian, Asian and Latin markets and is sold in as pods, as blocks (bricks) of tamarind fruit, and as purees or concentrates.

Storage

Store blocks of tamarind in the refrigerator. Jars of puree or concentrate can be kept at room temperature.

Preparation

While you can eat the pulp right out of the pod, if you intend to cook with it, it is easier to buy already prepared tamarind--either in bricks or as a puree or concentrate. Otherwise, the labor involved in opening the pods and pulling the pulp off the seeds is prohibitive.

If you are using a brick of tamarind, it may still have some of the stringy parts and/or seeds still in it. To get rid of them, soak the block of tamarind fruit in hot water to soften it, then push it through a coarse-mesh sieve to remove the strings and seeds.


Date Published: 04/21/2005
Previous  |  Next
> Printer-friendly Version Return to Top