Saturday, February 16, 2013


the tamarind fruit

Tamarind Soda
tamarind in brief
The tamarind is a long-lived, bushy tree with drooping branches and leaflets that close up at night.

 The fruit has a hard, brown shell and in it, contains a fleshy, juicy pulp which is brown or reddish-brown when ripened.
We call this ‘asam jawa’- tamarind is native to tropical Africa, abundant in  India and South Asia. 

The tamarind fruit is used extensively in cuisines around the world with some traditional medicinal uses and over ten health benefits.
I really like the name “tamarind” or ‘tamarene’ as known by the Maoris of Cook Island… sounds beautiful.

It's edible pulp is more palatable when ripened. The unripe hard green pulp is sour and acidic too.

The tamarind fruit has a sweet sour taste, high in acid, sugar acid, sugar, B vitamins, vitamin C, carotenes, calcium, fiber, potassium and magnesium.
culinary uses  
In Western cuisine, it is found in Worcestershire sauce and HP sauce.
In some other countries, it is used as in tamarinier jams and syrups and as snacks- either dried and salted, sweet, soft clusters or candied.

Or the tambran balls rolled with white granulated sugar and a blend of spices. 
Also used to make sour chilled drink and carbonated drink. 
Commonly for us in Southeast Asia, tamarind is used as a souring ingredient in food dishes. 
A salad dish of young tender tamarind leaves, boiled beans, topped with crushed peanuts and crispy fried onions, is served in rural Myanmar.

traditional medicinal uses  

In Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and Javanese traditional medicine, tamarind leaves are used as a herbal infusion for malarial fever, the fruit juice as an antiseptic, and for scurvy and even cough cure. Throughout Southeast Asia, fruit of the tamarind is used a poultice applied to foreheads of fever sufferers.
In ayurvedic medicine, it is used for gastric and/or digestion problems, and in 
cardioprotective activity.
health benefits 
It is rich in antioxidants and this helps fight against cancers.
It also helps lower cholesterol and treat bile disorder.
Helps in digestion, acts as a mild laxative and can be gargled to ease sore throat.
Based on human study, tamarind intake may delay the progression of skeletal flourisis by enhancing excretion of fluoride. However, additional research is neededSkeletal fluorosis is a bone disease caused by excessive consumption of fluoride.

Drinking tamarind juice can help reduce this risk for diabetics and is of benefit in relation to blood sugar levels.
The juice is good for the skin, apply on the skin for that healthy glow.

tamarind- it’s side effects

Although generally safe, tamarind juice can have adverse effects on health. It can increase the absorption of aspirin and ibuprofen by the body and should be avoided by those taking these medicines. It may cause acidity in people who suffer from acid reflux.
Links here  and  here 

other uses

Tamarind concentrate can be used to remove tarnish from brass and copper.
Tamarind Soda 
5 tbsp heap tamarind pulp
Brown sugar to taste
2 tsp nutmeg powder
1 can carbonated drink ( sprite, 7up or lime flavored sparkling mineral water)
Mix tamarind paste with 5 cups of water, squeeze out juice from pulp. Strain away residue. Add in sugar and nutmeg powder.  Heat up, when boiled, let steep for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
Keep chilled, when ready to serve, add in carbonated drink.


  1. This post took me back to my school days, there was a tamarind tree on our way home and we enjoyed eating ripe tamarind with salt. I once bought tamarind pods from a store to show my daughter how much we love this snack, but she did not find any joy in eating. I would definitely love your tamarind Soda. Saving the recipe.

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  3. I buy it in a jar (as a paste)...never knew how it looks...Great post!

  4. I'm not a fan of tamarind juice. But Tamarind soda? I wonder how it will taste like?

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  18. Hi Wan, I love tamarind juice especially the chilled one. But now I don't really can take cold drink so no choice to have this like tea. Your recepi with nutmeg and 7up or soda sounds delicious to try. cindyrina

  19. Tamarind soda sounds wonderful, delicious & tangy drink! Great information & lovely picture! AMBREEN

  20. Uncle Lee has left a new comment on your post "TAMARIND FRUIT, IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS AND TAMARIND ...":

    Hi Wan, I sure love the pics here. That 1st pic is really beautiful. And luckily this tamarind is sold in the Chinese supermarkets where I am.
    And yes, I have read, heard of its many health benefits. Good for you bring this out as I'm sure not many will know of what it is, as well to health.

    I must try that tamarind soda.....looks good too. I guess those people living on those Seas Islands use a lot of this in their cooking or drinks.
    Will motivate my wife use more of this when she cooks....
    Thank you for the enlightenment, Wan. Always good to well enjoy read your stylish eloquence.
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  21. Purabi Naha has left a new comment on your post "TAMARIND FRUIT, IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS AND TAMARIND ...":

    oh, this tamarind water is really amazing! Very good read about tamarind.

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  26. Amy has left a new comment on your post "TAMARIND FRUIT, IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS AND TAMARIND ...":

    excellent post about tamarind,this recipe sounds delicious...I remember I liked to eat raw tamarind when I was young.It is full of sour taste,but still liked...

  27. Jay has left a new comment on your post "TAMARIND FRUIT, IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS AND TAMARIND ...":

    awesome post....thanks for sharing

  28. Reshmi Mahesh has left a new comment on your post "TAMARIND FRUIT, IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS AND TAMARIND ...":

    Love this tangy and sometimes slightly sweet fruit. Its a regular ingredient I use in my Indian cooking...especially curries...Soda looks very refreshing...Great post.

  29. Malay-Kadazan girl has left a new comment on your post "TAMARIND FRUIT, IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS AND TAMARIND ...":

    Yes...very nice. Thanks so much for the best efforts to write this post. Very timely as we have a lot of tamarind harvest at the moment. If I do have a chance to try the soda will link back to this post.

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  32. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen has left a new comment on your post "TAMARIND FRUIT, IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS AND TAMARIND ...":

    We love Tamarind fruit in here! We eat it sweet and the ripe fruit as is.

  33. Julie has left a new comment on your post "TAMARIND FRUIT, IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS AND TAMARIND ...":

    I have problems of acid reflux and this doesn't suit me at all,though I like the flavors very much..Glad to know so many health benefits :)

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  38. Very informative. Thanks. I am sure the Tamarind Soda tastes good. This is new to me.

  39. We love those sweetened Tamarind Balls you got there.

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  47. Just like lemon juice, tamarind can soothe heartburn and improve digestion.

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  50. I love tamarind so much. There are many unusual foods of the World that are made with the help of tamarind.