Asam is the Indonesian term for "Tamarind " (Tamarindus indica). Asam is the fruit of the tamarind tree. If asked for Asam water is made by taking a piece of tamarind and soak in 1-2 tablespoons of water. Rub fruit flesh of the pits and use the water. In Indonesia, for fish or chicken, the Asam is used instead of lemon juice, rub the Asam directly into the fish. Asam is now available in paste so it is much easier and faster to use Asam to cook dish that requires an Asam. Asam is called the same in Malaysia, Makham in Thai and Sampalok by the Filipinos. Sampalok is used in the Philippines as souring agent for Sinigang recipes and also made into sweet candies or eaten as is. In Germany it is very rare for me to find fresh sweet tamarinds, but some groceries carry fresh , sweet tamarinds still in its shell in small packages. The last time I was able to eat fresh Tamarind was a year ago, 100 gram pack cost 10 euros and imported from Thailand. Tamarid is one of the fruits I miss living in Germany, in the Philippines, when in season, they can be pruchased very cheap.