Tamarind comes from the Tamarind tree – a native of India – or, some argue Africa. Some people call tamarind Indian Date.
Tamarind pulp is a good source of Vitamin B and calcium and is said to aid digestion too.
You use tamarind juice or paste as a sour element in your dishes – the same way you would use lemon or vinegar (and in about the same quantities) – but the taste is different. It is sour and fruity at the same time. It is one of the ingredients in that fabulous sauce – Worcestershire Sauce.
Tamarind is high in acid, sugar and pectin – so is useful for jams and chutneys.
Curries benefit from the addition of tamarind.
You need to soak your paste in hot water before adding it to dishes.
My recipe using tamarind – Gordon's Chicken Wings
BIBLIOGRAPHY - with thanks to Auckland Libraries
Cook's Encyclopaedia of Spices by Sallie Morris & Lesley Mackley
Discovering Vegetables, Herbs & Spices by Susanna Lyle
Spice Market by Jane Lawson
Spicery by Ian & Elizabeth Hemphill
Spices & Natural Flavourings by Jennifer Mulherin
Spices by Sophie Grigson
Spices Condiments and Seasonings by Kenneth T Farrell
Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen by Elizabeth David
The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander