Deutsch: Tamarindenbaum / Indian: Puli, Valanpuli

Tamarind refers to the pod of the tree Tamarindus indica, the pulp of which is sweet and sour in taste and used in preparing food and drinks. Personal Note: In the Philippines, it is candied or the pulp is made into sweets.

In Kerala, south of India, it is the main ingredient of one of their traditional foods called Rasam. In Thailand, they are made into candies with various flavors, from sweet, to salty to spicy. Bangkok is famous for this candied tamarind for bringing home after a vacation in this lovely city. Tamarind is from Latin word tamarindus, from Arabic tamr (date) + hindi (Indian) due to the date-like consistency of its pulp.
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon, having only a single species. The tamarind tree produces edible, pod-like fruit which are used extensively in cuisines around the world. Other uses include traditional medicines and metal polishes. The wood can be used in carpentry. Because of the tamarind's many uses, cultivation has spread around the world in tropical and subtropical zones.

In the food context, tamarind is a fruit commonly used in Asian, African, and Latin American cuisine. It has a sweet and sour flavor and is used as a souring agent in many dishes. Here are some examples of how tamarind is used in different cuisines:

  1. Indian Cuisine: Tamarind is used in many Indian dishes, such as sambar, rasam, and chutneys, to add sourness to the dish.

  2. Thai Cuisine: Tamarind is a key ingredient in many Thai dishes, such as Pad Thai, Tom Yum soup, and Massaman curry, providing a tangy and sour flavor to the dish.

  3. Mexican Cuisine: Tamarind is used to make a popular Mexican drink called Agua de Tamarindo, which is a sweet and sour drink made from tamarind pulp, sugar, and water.

  4. African Cuisine: Tamarind is used in African cuisine to make a sauce called "soumbala" or "dawadawa," which is made from fermented tamarind seeds and used as a flavoring in soups and stews.

Some similar ingredients to tamarind include:

  1. Lime or Lemon Juice: Both lime and lemon juice are used as souring agents in cooking, and can be used as a substitute for tamarind in some dishes.

  2. Vinegar: Like lime and lemon juice, vinegar can be used to add sourness to a dish, and can be used as a substitute for tamarind in some recipes.

  3. Kokum: A sour fruit commonly used in Indian cuisine, kokum is often used as a substitute for tamarind in some recipes.

  4. Pomegranate molasses: A thick syrup made from pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice, pomegranate molasses is often used as a substitute for tamarind in some Middle Eastern dishes.


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