Do you know what is known as the “Date of India” or “Indian date”?
It is none other than our tangy, sweet Tamarind.
Tamarind literally means “Tamar-I-hind” which means “Date of India” in Arabic language.
Also, more interesting fact is, it could neutralize venom from one of the world’s deadliest snakes, the Russell’s viper.
More on Tamarind
The tamarind tree is native to tropical regions of Africa, particularly Sudan, but its cultivation has spread to almost all tropical areas of the world.South America and Mexico are now the largest consumers and producers of this fruit in the world.
Tamarind fruits are pods like beans with brown colored exterior. Interior flesh is tender, juicy and green and very sour when raw. As the fruit matures, the outer covering becomes hard. The inside becomes softer and sweeter. This tamarind pulp is a good source of calcium, and the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine. It is loaded with dietary fiber. 100 g of pulp provides 5.1 or over 13% of dietary fiber. This dietary fiber helps prevent constipation by increases bulk and expanding bowel movements. The fiber binds to toxins in the food thus help protect the colon mucosa from cancer-causing chemicals.
1. Tamarind is great for Heart Health
The high fiber content of tamarind is effective at reducing LDL or bad cholesterol in a body. The potassium in tamarind is useful in reducing high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Tamarind is rich source of vitamin C, which has many benefits. Vitamin C helps in reduction of free radicals in a person’s body. Reducing the free radicals enhances overall heart health.
2. Tamarind improves Circulation
Tamarind is a very good source of iron. A single serving of tamarind can provide more than 10% of your daily requirement. The iron in tamarind improves the healthy operating of red blood cells in the blood. Properly functioning red blood cells assures the proper nourishment and oxidation of organs and muscles in the body. Iron from tamarind is also beneficial in fight off anemia mainly in women.
3. Tamarind helps reducing joint pains:
Tamarind contains Lupeol, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, The anti-inflammatory abilities of tamarind help in reduction of joint pain and inflammation, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and gout.
Tamarind is excellent for digestion
According to the researchers in the journal Nutrition Research, consumption of tamarind offers some protection against the recurrence of kidney stones (calcium oxalate) stones in men.
There is slight concern regarding over consumption of tamarind. It lowers blood pressure and acts like a blood thinner. It can be difficult to decrease bleeding in case something happens. One has to be extra careful, especially if you are taking aspirin or other blood thinners.
Around the world
Tamarind has same meaning in east as lemon has in West. It is a common souring agent in most tropical countries and serves as a main ingredient in the cuisines of India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
- It is used as a paste, syrup, and juice. Only the paste is strong enough for the cuisine of South India, where it is used to flavor fiery fish curries, vindaloos, and vegetarian dishes. It also goes in chowder-like vegetarian stews called sambars and soups called rasams. A tamarind dip is made for deep-fried snacks called samosas. In North India, batter-fried dumplings called dahi-vada float in a sauce made from tamarind and yogurt.
- Tamarind is also used in the hot and sour soups of China, Thailand, and Singapore. Tamarind paste gives a tang to Asian stir-fries.
- In Thailand, the pulp is dusted with sugar and eaten as a sweetmeat.
- In the West Indies, the seeds are sugared and compressed into patties.
- In the Philippines, sweet potatoes are added to the patties to make a sweet treat called champoy.
- In Jamaica, tamarind is used in jams, syrups, and in Jamaican pickapeppa sauce, a condiment popular in the US. Tamarind has a cool, refreshing taste, which makes it popular as a beverage in tropical lands.
- In India, the drink is infused with rosewater and lemon juice and sipped after dinner on hot evenings.
- Tamarind is diluted, and sugar is added to make a soft drink in Jamaica and Latin American countries.
- Throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Latin America, tamarind makes a popular sweet and sour candy. Sweetened balls of tamarind are rolled in sugar and sometimes spiced with Chile, which is called pulparindo (as well as other names).
Tamarind is an perfect ingredient Worcestershire sauce, popular American condiment.
1. Apply tamarind paste on swollen feet to reduce swelling and pain.
2. Tamarind is great remedy for hangover, drink tamarind juice (sharbat) next day to get back to normal quicker.
3. Tamarind juice with rosewater, lemon juice and sugar is consumed to avoid heat stroke in summer.