Tamarind Paste

Why is Tamarind amazing for our gut?


This tropical fruit growing in climates in Africa, India, The Middle East, Pakistan, and South America, has many health benefits and a unique aroma that can be used in many different ways. Tamarind is sometimes referred to as the “date of India.” It is considered floral, spicy, and sour. The tamarind tree produces pods with beans surrounded by pulp, and as it ripens, the pulp takes on a paste-like consistency and becomes sweet. The pulp is used in many recipes such as sauces, marinades, desserts, chutneys, jams, and beverages. Tamarind can be eaten raw or can be used to add a sweet or sour flavoring to soups and dishes.

Tamarind has a plethora of anti-inflammatory agents, which can help to reduce systemic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation (or prolonged inflammation) increases the risk of a variety of symptoms and diseases, such as cancers, diabetes, and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).


Tamarind has also been used to help manage diarrhea and constipation, as the fiber it has aids in digestion. Every 100 grams of tamarind contains 2.5 grams of fiber, which can help add bulk to stools and ease bowel movements. Tamarind is high in vitamins such as iron, magnesium, and vitamin C, and contains compounds that can aid in stomach pain, and even lower the risk of peptic ulcers!


One more cool fact about tamarind: the pulp can actually be used as a metal polish! It contains tartaric acid, which helps remove tarnish from copper and bronze. Tartaric acid also helps with digestion, and encourages a healthy flow of nutrients into the bloodstream.


Ways to eat it


The tamarind pulp is the edible part, which can be eaten raw or processed. To eat it raw, crack open the shell and break off a piece of the pulp, then chew on it without eating the seed. Tamarind paste itself can be used for cooking and is even used to make candy! Tamarind sauce can be used on Pad Thai and chutney sauces!


Recipe: Tamarind Paste


Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):

  • 9 oz tamarind fruit pulp (from a compressed block or from 15 to 20 shelled pods)

  • 1 1/2 cups water, boiled

Directions:

  1. Separate the tamarind into small pieces and place the fruit into a medium heatproof bowl.

  2. Pour the boiling water over the tamarind, submerge completely, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 30 to 45 minutes.

  3. Pass the mixture through a sieve. Make sure to remove as much liquid as possible. The paste should be thick.

  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

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References

Choudhary, T. (2019, June 7). 3 Amazing Benefits And 2 Side Effects Of Tartaric Acid. StyleCraze. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-and-side-effects-of-tartaric-acid/

Jennings, K. (2021, August 20). What Is Tamarind? A Tropical Fruit with Health Benefits.

Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tamarind#TOC_TITLE_HDR_10

Komakech, R., Kim, Y., Matsabisa, G. M., & Kang, Y. (2019). Anti-inflammatory and analgesic

potential of Tamarindus indica Linn. (Fabaceae): a narrative review. Integrative Medicine Research, 8(3), 181–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2019.07.002

Sharma, N. (n.d.). Tamarind Paste Recipe. NYT Cooking.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1021264-tamarind-paste


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