Sour & sweet tamarind
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Sour & sweet tamarind

Tamarind is also mentioned in Ayurvedic literature such as Vagbhata's Astanga Hrdaya

Sour & sweet tamarind

Tamarind, with its sour and tangy taste, is widely used in Indian cuisine.  But, aside  from adding flavour to your cuisine, tamarind, also known as imli, has a number of health benefits.

Let’s know more about Tamarind

The tree was loved by the Arabs, who had trading links with India as early as 600 AD. Because of the brown colour, it looked like dates and was given the name Tamar-i-Hind (Indian date fruit). It may have originated in Africa but it has a long history in South Asia and is widely distributed throughout the region.

Tamarind has a variety of purposes although it is most recognised for its usage as a sour flavouring component in food. The fruit's tangy, refreshing flavour is especially popular in South India.

Tamarind is also mentioned in Ayurvedic literature such as Vagbhata's Astanga Hrdaya which dates to 600 AD. Gums are the primary binder for watercolour paints used in miniature painting and, to a lesser extent, text illustration. In traditional art, tamarind seeds are ground into a paste.

Patachitra, or painted cloth hangings, is a technique in which two pieces of cloth are bonded together to create a painting surface in the Indian state of Orissa. When did tamarind first arrive in Asia from Africa is still unknown.

By the year 2000 BC, a number of key crop plants had travelled from Africa to South Asia, including sorghum and finger millet. Tamarind could have come at that time or it could have been a  later trader's move.

Tamarind was introduced to America sometime in the sixteenth century and it is now widely grown in Mexico.

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Uses in the home:

Tamarind pulp can also be used to polish metal because tartaric acid is present which aids in the removal of tarnish from copper and bronze.

Medical uses:

According to the health website, ‘Healthline’, Tamarind has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. In the form of beverages, it was extensively used to cure diarrhoea, constipation, fever, and ulcers. Wound healing was also aided by the bark and leaves. Researchers are now looking at the plant's therapeutic potential. Tamarind polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are all problems that tamarind can help to prevent. The seed extract may help you lose weight and treat fatty liver disease while the pulp extract may help you lose weight and reverse fatty liver illness.

Tamarind recipe ideas and uses:

As a souring taste, sour pulp is frequently used in curries and sauces. You can even try tamarind pulp which can be used to substitute cranberries and raisins in curry and chutney recipes.

The sweet tamarind pulp is prepared for jams, sweets and the occasional soup recipe. Try tamarind chutney by cooking the pulp with dates, ginger, sugar, and earthy spices like cumin.

South Americans, Central Americans and those in the Caribbean make popular sodas and juices. Other countries ferment the pulp to make a type of alcohol.

Tamarind is the base of several barbeque sauces, thanks to its earthy, sweet-and-sour taste.