Tamarind is a spice which has been an essential part of most South Asian cordon bleu. It grows on the tree, Tamarindus indica, as a brown, pod-like fruit that contains a pulp and black seeds inside. It can be sweet or sour which is an integral factor in its choice for use. It is also known as Imli in Hindi.
Its name is derived from Arabic, meaning tamar hindi, "Indian date". It is found throughout the tropical regions namely, Africa, South Asia, northern Australia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and China. Contrary to popular belief, tamarind originates from Africa.
DID YOU KNOW?
Tamarind dates back to 1200 BC in Indian literature, namely, Brahmasamhita Scriptures and 400 BC in Egypt. It had been used initially for its medicinal properties by Arabs and Indians. Tamarind found its journey from Asia to America in the 1600s, specifically to Hawaii.
There are various uses of the fruit. It is also used by soaking with water. It is available throughout the year in markets due to excellent storage, packaging and preservation. Its ability to be stored for long is definitely a plus. It is also used as a condiment, an ingredient in various main dishes, chutneys and beverages. Tamarind is one of the primary souring agents in Thai cuisine.
Many parts of the tamarind tree have beneficial properties and are used - roots, seeds, leaves, fruit, bark and flower too. Its seed is used for preparing oil.
It is said that the tamarind pulp is superior in the ripening process. It takes a reddish brown color.
BENEFITS OF TAMARIND
- It has anti-inflammatory properties because of which it helps reduce joint pain.
- It is a relief for diabetic patients as it stabilizes blood sugar level.
- It is good for our digestive systems due to the presence of fibres and tartaric acid.
- Tamarind is beneficial for weight loss.
- Imli is an immune booster.
- It helps ease headache and vomiting.
- The leaves of tamarind are used to soothe swelling in the skin and stomach ache.
- It is beneficial in curing acne.
- Tamarind helps in lightening, exfoliating, toning and moisturizing the skin.
- It has anti-aging properties.
- It helps tackle cellulite.
- It is crucial in reducing pigmentation in the skin.
- It prevents hair loss by strengthening the roots.
- Beneficial in battling oily and greasy scalp.
Tamarind finds its uses in culinary, medicinal, woodwork and metal polish industries.
You can also try the famous Raja Ji Online Chatpati Imli which is well known for its taste and health benefits.