name = Tamarind

regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Fabales
familia = Fabaceae
subfamilia = Caesalpinioideae
tribus = Detarieae
genus = "Tamarindus"
species = "T. indica"
binomial = "Tamarindus indica"
binomial_authority = L.

:"This article refers to the tree. For other uses see Tamarindo (disambiguation)."

The Tamarind ("Tamarindus indica") (from the Arabic: تمر هندي tamar hindi = Indian date) is in the family Fabaceae. The genus "Tamarindus" is monotypic (having only a single species). It is a tropical tree, native to tropical Africacite book | author = Morton, Julia F. | title = Fruits of Warm Climates | pages = 115-121 | publisher = Wipf and Stock Publishers | year = 1987 | isbn = 0-9653360-7-7] , including Sudan and parts of the Madagascar dry deciduous forests. It was introduced into India so long ago that it has often been reported as indigenous there, and it was apparently from India that it reached the Persians and the Arabs who called it "tamar hindi" (Indian date, from the date-like appearance of the dried pulp), giving rise to both its common and generic names [http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/tamarind Name of tamarind] . However, the specific name, "indica", also perpetuates the illusion of Indian origin. The fruit was well known to the ancient Egyptians and to the Greeks in the 4th Century B.C.E.


The tree has long been naturalized in the East Indies and the islands of the Pacific. One of the first tamarind trees in Hawaii was planted in 1797. The tamarind was certainly introduced into tropical America, mainly Mexico, as well as Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the West Indies much earlier. In all tropical and near-tropical areas, including South Florida, it is grown as a shade and fruit tree, along roadsides and in dooryards and parks. There are large commercial plantings in Mexico, Belize and some other Central American countries and in northern Brazil. In India there are extensive tamarind orchards producing 275,500 tons (250,000 MT) annually. The pulp is marketed in northern Malaya and to some extent wherever the tree is found even if there are no plantations.

The tree can grow up to 20 m in height, and stays evergreen in regions without a dry season. Tamarind timber consists of hard, dark red heartwood and softer, yellowish sapwood. The leaves consist of 10–40 leaflets. The flowers are produced in racemes. The fruit is a brown pod-like legume, which contains a soft acidic pulp and many hard-coated seeds. The seeds can be scarified to enhance germination.

Alternative names include Indian date, translation of Arabic تمر هندي "tamr hindī". In Malaysia it is called "asam" in Malay. In Indonesia it is called "asem" (or "asam") "Jawa" (means "Javanese asam") in Indonesian. In the Philippines it is called "sampaloc" in Tagalog and "sambag" in Cebuano. In Oriya it is called "tentuli". In Hindi it is called "imli". in Gujarati it is called Amli , In Marathi and Konkani it is called "chinch". In Bangla, the term is "tẽtul". In Sinhala the name is "siyambala", in Telugu it is called chintachettu (tree) and chintapandu (fruit extract) and in Tamil and Malayalam it is "puli" (புளி). In Kannada it is called "hunase". In Malagasy it is called "voamadilo". The Vietnamese term is "me". In Puerto Rico it is called "tamarindo". The tamarind is the provincial tree of the Phetchabun province of Thailand (in Thailand it is called "ma-kham"). In Taiwan it is called "loan-tz".

Tamarind ("Tamarindus indica") should not be confused with the Manila tamarind ("Pithecellobium dulce"), which is an entirely different plant, though also in Fabaceae.


Culinary uses

A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known fruit has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare. [cite book |authorlink= |author=National Research Council |editor= |others= |title=Lost Crops of Africa: Volume III: Fruits |origdate= |url=http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11879 |format= |accessdate=2008-07-17 |edition= |series=Lost Crops of Africa |volume=3 |date=2008-01-25 |publisher=National Academies Press |location= |isbn=978-0-309-10596-5 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter=Tamarind |chapterurl=http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11879&page=149 |quote= |ref= ]

The fruit pulp is edible and popular. It is used as a spice in both Asian and Latin American cuisines, and is also an important ingredient in Pulusu (tamarind-based sauce from Andhra Pradesh, India), Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce and the Jamaican-produced Pickapeppa sauce [ [http://www.pickapeppa.com/ Pickapeppa Sauce - The unique and delicious Jamaican international legend ] ] . The hard green pulp of a young fruit is very tart and acidic and is most often used as a component of savory dishes. The ripened fruit is sweeter, yet still distinctively sour, and can be used in desserts and sweetened drinks, or as a snack. In Thailand, there is a carefully cultivated sweet variety with little to no tartness grown specifically to be eaten as a fresh fruit.

* In the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, a tangy pickle is made from Tamarind flowers.

* Tamarind is a staple in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu diet, where it is used to prepare Rasam, Sambhar, Puliyogare, and various types of chutneys.

* In Guadeloupe, the tree is known as Tamarinier. Jam and syrup is made with the fruit.

* In Egypt, there is an acidic chilled drink made from tamarind which is popular in summertime. It is called "tamr hindi".

* In Madagascar, the tree is known as the kily tree. Its fruits and leaves are a well-known favorite of ring-tailed lemurs, providing as much as 50% of their food resources during the year if available.

* In Mexico it is sold in various snack forms, where it is dried and salted, or candied (see for example pulparindo or chamoy snacks). Mexicans commonly drink it as a cold agua fresca beverage or have it in iced fruit bars and raspados. The Mexican immigrant communities in the US have continued to fashion the "agua de tamarindo" drink, and many other kinds of treats. Mexican tamarind snacks are available in specialty food stores worldwide in pod form or as a paste or concentrate.

Pad Thai, a Thai dish popular with Europeans and Americans, sometimes includes tamarind for its tart taste (though lime juice and/or white vinegar are more commonly used). A tamarind-based sweet-and-sour sauce served over deep-fried fish is also a common dish in Central Thailand. In Singapore and Malaysia it is used to add a sweet-sour taste to gravy for fish in a dish called asam fish. In the Philippines it is used to add a sour taste in Sinigang soup. The leaves are also distinctly tart in flavor, and are used in many soups in the North Eastern part of Thailand.

Medicinal uses

The pulp, leaves, and bark also have medical applications. For example, in the Philippines, the leaves have been traditionally used in herbal tea for reducing malaria fever. Tamarind is used as an Ayurvedic Medicine for gastric and/or digestion problems.

Carpentry uses

In temples, especially in Asian countries, the pulp is used to clean brass shrine furniture, removing dulling and the greenish patina that forms. [ [http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/tamarind.html#Other%20Uses Tamarind ] ]

The wood is a bold red color. Due to its density and durability, tamarind heartwood can be used in making furniture and wood flooring. A tamarind switch is sometimes used as an implement for corporal punishment.

Horticultural uses

Tamarind trees are very common in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. They are used as ornamental trees and to provide shade on the country roads and highways. Tamarind is extensively used in the cuisine of both these states.

The tamarind has recently become popular in bonsai culture, frequently used in Asian countries like Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines. In the last Japan Airlines World Bonsai competition, Mr. Budi Sulistyo of Indonesia won the second prize with an ancient tamarind bonsai.

The tamarind tree is the official plant of Santa Clara, Cuba. Consequently it appears in the coat of arms of the city.




* Dassanayake, M. D. & Fosberg, F. R. (Eds.). (1991). "A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon". Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution.
* Hooker, Joseph Dalton. (1879). "The Flora of British India", Vol II. London: L. Reeve & Co.

External links

* [http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/tamarind.html Fruits of Warm Climates: Tamarind]
* [http://www.plantcultures.org.uk/plants/tamarind_landing.html Plant Cultures: History and botany of tamarind]
* [http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/tamarind.html California Rare Fruit Growers: Tamarind Fruit Facts]
* [http://www.pickapeppa.com/ Official Pickapeppa sauce web site]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tamarind — Tam a*rind, n. [It. tamarindo, or Sp. tamarindo, or Pg. tamarindo, tamarinho, from Ar. tamarhind[=i], literally, Indian date; tamar a dried date + Hind India: cf. F. tamarin. Cf. {Hindu}.] (Bot.) 1. A leguminous tree ({Tamarindus Indica})… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tamarind — TAMARÍND s.m. v. tamarin. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • tamarind — (n.) by c.1400, ultimately from Arabic tamr hindi, lit. date of India. First element cognate with Heb. tamar palm tree, date palm …   Etymology dictionary

  • tamarind — tamàrīnd m DEFINICIJA bot. stablo (Tamarindus indica) iz porodice rogača (Caesalpiniaceae), upotrebljava se za hranu ili kao laksativ, te u stolarstvu ETIMOLOGIJA srlat. tamarindus ← arap. tamr hindi: indijska datulja …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • tamarind — ► NOUN ▪ sticky brown acidic pulp from the pod of a tropical African tree, used as a flavouring in Asian cookery. ORIGIN Arabic, Indian date …   English terms dictionary

  • tamarind — [tam′ə rind] n. [Sp tamarindo < Ar tamr hindī, date of India] 1. a tropical leguminous tree (Tamarindus indica) of the caesalpinia family, with yellow flowers and brown pods with an acid pulp 2. its fruit, used in foods, beverages, etc …   English World dictionary

  • tamarind — [[t]tæ̱mərɪnd[/t]] tamarinds N VAR A tamarind is a fruit which grows on a tropical evergreen tree which has pleasant smelling flowers. You can also refer to the tree on which this fruit grows as a tamarind …   English dictionary

  • tamarind — UK [ˈtæmərɪnd] / US noun Word forms tamarind : singular tamarind plural tamarinds a) [countable/uncountable] a small soft fruit with sticky brown skin b) [countable] the African tree on which it grows …   English dictionary

  • tamarind — indinis tamarindas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Cezalpinijinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, maistinis, prieskoninis, vaisinis, vaistinis augalas (Tamarindus indica), paplitęs Afrikoje ir pietvakarių Azijoje. Jis naudojamas maisto priedams… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • tamarind — /tam euh rind/, n. 1. the pod of a large, tropical tree, Tamarindus indica, of the legume family, containing seeds enclosed in a juicy acid pulp that is used in beverages and food. 2. the tree itself. [1525 35; < ML tamarindus Ar tamr hindi lit …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.