The tamarind is a large evergreen tree that grows in the tropics and is widely consumed in different forms all across tropical areas of the world, from Africa to Mexico. In India it is often used in chutneys, in Thailand it is often used in Pad Thai. The dark brown fruit pods of the tamarind is used as a souring agent.

Tamarind can come fresh, ripe, dried, preserved, or canned. It has a sweet-sour flavor and is preserved for curries and chutneys.

The pulp of the fruit is edible and consumed widely in native areas. The pulp of a young tamarind fruit is used in savory dishes and for pickling.

In Western cuisine you can find tamarind in Worcestershire sauce, Pickapeppa and HP Sauce.


Other names: Imli, Tamarinds, इमली, చింతపండు, Tamarindo, புளி, Tamarindus Indica, তেঁতুল Tetul
Translations: Tamaryndowiec Indijos, Tamarinda, Trái me, Tamaryndowiec, Tamarinde, तामरिंद, Tamarindo, Тамаринд, Οξυφοίνιξ, تمر هندي, 타마 린드, Asam, Sampalok, 罗望子, Tamarindo, Tamarínd, Tamarindo, תמר הודי, Тамаринда, タマリンド, Tamarin, Tamarinde, Тамаринд, Тамаринд

Physical Description

The Tamarind fruit is an irregularly curved brown pod, roughly 3-8 inches long.

Colors: Brown

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet, sour
Mouthfeel: Tart
Food complements: Chicken, Shrimp
Substitutes: Lime, Sour cherry

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: march, april, may, june, july
Peak: april, may, june
Choosing: Look for Tamarind pods with shells that are still intact.
Buying: Fully ripe tamarind fruit have shells that are brittle and easily broken.
Procuring: The tamarind is typically grown in tropical regions

Preparation and Use

The tamarind pulp from an unripe fruit is used as a souring agent in some asian recipes. The ripened pulp is used to make candies, jam, sweetened drinks or sorbet.

Conserving and Storing

Tamarinds may be sundried, shelled, packed in airtight containers and stored to below 10°C for 4- 6 months.


The Tamarind plant is the official plant of Santa Clara Cuba and appears in the city's coat of arms.



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