Sweet, tangy and nutritious tamarind is a staple in Indian and Caribbean cuisine. Tamarind is used in desserts, savory dishes and beverages adding depth and layers of unique flavor.
The tamarind tree originates in Africa, but can now be found throughout the world in warm tropical climates. The tamarind fruit pods can be consumed fresh off the tree when it is sweet or after it has dried and has become somewhat sour and tangy.
In savory dishes tamarind pairs well with curries and pungent flavors like onion and garlic. In desserts we like to use tamarind in fruit pies and pastries especially apple pie and guava pastry. In drinks tamarind can be the star, standing on its own with a bit of lime and ginger for a flavorful punch ( feel free to spike it with a bit of white rum!, drink responsibly).
For those of you who are lucky enough to live in tropical climates where tamarind trees are abundant, we hope that you are taking full advantage of the health and culinary experiences it offers.
For the rest of us, we can purchase tamarind at an Asian vegetable market or order online. We like Tamarind Concentrate by Fiji Islands Natural or the whole fruit pods available from Fresh Thai Tamarind
The health benefits of tamarind are well documented and are attributed to high levels of antioxidants minerals such as potassium and iron.
5 Health benefits of tamarind include:
- Tamarind has heart health benefits due to the diuretic effective of this potassium and fiber rich fruit pod- lowering high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
- Tamarind has digestive and laxative effects due to its high fiber content
- Tamarind reduces fever and minimizes the effect of a cold due its high content of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- Tamarind can also be used topically on cuts and bruises for healing and prevent infection.
- Lastly and strangely enough the seeds of tamarind are used in eye drops offering relief from conjunctivitis.
As with any home remedy please contact your health professional if for guidance before treating any illness, ailments or disorders.
Drop us a line and let us know how you use tamarind.