Sampalok is a Filipino word for Tamarind. In the Philippines its pulp/fruit are eaten and used as a souring agent. Its young leaves are also used for souring agent or as filling for whole chicken for grilling to remove its fishy taste.


Sampalok can be cooked as one of the ingredient for Filipino sour stew/soup, like Sinampalukang Manok (Chicken soup cooked with Tamarind) where its young leaves are used. Its fruit brown pulp is made into a sweet candy with tamarind flesh/pulp mashed and cooked with brown sugar


Moreover, in the Philippines, the pulp of the Sampalok fruit is very much used as a souring agent for dishes like Sinigang, a cross between sour soup and stew and also made into delicious candies. Likewise, when the fruit is fully ripe, they are eaten in the Philippines as is with a bit of salt

In Kerala, India, Puli is the Malayalam word for Sampalok. It is the basic ingredient for making their sour soup called Rasam. Meanwhile, Thailand is very popular for their Tamarind candies called Makham Gao that most tourists bring them back home.

Using Sampalok as a souring agent can be a long task as you need to squeezed the pulp from the fruit until you get its juice so my mom rarely use Sampalok as a souring agent. But as a child, together with my siblings and cousins, I enjoyed eating Sampalok as is when fully ripe and in season. It is sold in most wet markets (Palengke) during its season very cheap in the Philippines by a kilo.

I only found Sampalok fruit after 7 years of living in Germany by chance, few packs of ripe Sampalok fruits were offered in one of the groceries I go to and they were imported from Thailand

Other countries also used Tamarind fruits for making sweets or candies. Mexico has its own version called Dulce de Tamarindo. Some countries called them Bolitas de Tamarindo (Tamarind balls)

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