Yay tamarind! Before you skip over this, thinking tamarind is an exotic and strange thing that you have never heard of, don't know where to find, or don't care about...give tamarind a chance. It is an extraordinary fruit pulp that is quite delicious and surprisingly nutritious. This sweet-sour fruit (officially a legume), contains high amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium, as well as vitamins C and B and antioxidants. Quite a powerhouse of a fruit -- it's especially unusual to see a fruit with such high levels of iron and Vitamin B. And it is really delicious -- sweet, sour, tangy, addictive. I've used it in savory Indian dishes, as well as in sweet drinks and dessert. I've also seen tamarind candies at the Latino market coated with chili -- sweet and spicy. This recipe is an adaptable summer winner -- it can be churned into a refreshing sorbet or mixed with additional water and ice for sipping in the sun. It's sweet, yet not cloyingly so.
|tamarind still in their pods|
I sometimes buy whole tamarind by the pound in the Latino market place near my work and spend way too much time removing the shells, veins and seeds. It's meditative. And you can snack on the fruit as you go. Usually I just opt for purchasing the packaged pulp, which is already shell-, vein- and seed-free and ready to use (some ready-to-use pulp still has seeds in it- but it's still easy to use). I've found it in the freezer section of Latino markets and also in shelf-stable blocks at Indian markets.