Tamarind or Tamarindus indica is a fruit with sweet and sour pulp that comes from evergreen tree from the family of Fabaceae. This fruit is native to tropical Africa and widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. Tamarind fruit is a plump legume with 7.5 to 24 cm long that contains 1 to 12 large, flat seeds embedded in a soft and brownish pulp. This fruit is used in foods, beverages, extracted as seed oil, and used as traditional medicines. Tamarind are popular in the Indian subcontinent, Central America, and Mexico and a common ingredient for various cuisines in those regions.
Tamarind fruits are harvested in 6 months after maturity, so that moisture content in the fruits are reduced to 20% or lower. Tamarind are harvested by pulling the pod away from the stalk. Tamarind then sun dried for about two days or until it is ready to be de-shelled. After that tamarind are cleaned and stored in refrigeration to prevent beetles and fungi attacks.
There are four grades of tamarind that traded worldwide, these are:
Grade 1 : dehusked, de-seeded, and no fibres
Grade 2 : dehusked, de-seeded with fibres
Grade 3 : dehusked, with seed and fibres
Grade 4 : with husk, seed, and fibres
Tamarind are commonly used in culinary and extracted as seed oil. In culinary uses, tamarind are popular in Indian subcontinent, Central America, and Mexico as a common ingredient for various dishes. Tamarind as seed oil are made from the kernel of tamarind seeds, used as sizing material for textile and jute processing.
Tamarind is categorized as dried fruits.