Tamarind is one of the most naturally sweet tangy fruit that I recall as a child when my mother used this as a soft drink. She would go to the Mexican market and purchase a whole bag of this fruit for almost nothing and make our Tamarind water drink… instead of soda, and other sweet drinks (which was not allowed), this was it!
- 1 lb. tamarind
- 1 gallon cold filtered water
- ½ cup raw honey or blackstrap molasses (optional), it taste great alone!
Remove the shells from the tamarind and discard. Put the peeled tamarind in a plastic container able to hold a gallon of water. Add a gallon of cold water to container; let it sit in the fridge overnight. The water will absorb the tamarind’s delicious and nutritious flavor. Strain the water to remove the pulp. Add honey and incorporate by vigorously whisking.
Here’s another way…
Puliyinji (Ginger & Tamarind Chutney) recipe
Puli Inji/Puliyinji is an indispensable part of every Onam Sadhya. It is a sweet and sour sauce made by simmering fried ginger (inji) in jaggery and tamarind (puli) sauce. Puliyinji is also known as Inji Curry in some regions of Kerala. In some places, Inji Curry may also refer to a similar dish prepared in a fried coconut paste. The consistency of Puliyinji varies from region to region. Some make it like a chutney whereas others make it into a very thick paste.
- Finely Minced Ginger – 1/2 cup (You can use a Food Chopper)
- Finely Sliced Small Green Chillies – 3 or 4
- Jaggery / Sharkara (small chunks) – 3 to 5 pieces, or blackstrap molasses instead
- Tamarind – Lemon sized ball
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Fenugreek Powder (Uluva) – 1/4 tsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Water – as needed
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Dry Red Chillies – 4 or 5
- Curry Laves – A sprig
- Dissolve the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water and extract the juice.
- Heat 1 cup of water in a deep pan and add the jaggery pieces. Stir continuously till it melts and forms a syrup.
- Filter the jaggery syrup for any particles and keep aside.
- Add the tamarind juice to the filtered jaggery syrup and bring to a slow boil. Adjust the sweetness and sourness of the sauce by adding more jaggery or tamarind juice as required. Continue to simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non stick pan and fry the minced ginger for a few minutes until the raw smell disappears. Add the green chillies and continue frying till the ginger gets a golden brown color.
- Reduce heat and add turmeric powder and red chilly powder. Saute for a minute and pour everything to the simmering jaggery and tamarind sauce. Sprinkle fenugreek powder. Stir the sauce and allow it to come to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in the same pan and splutter mustard seeds. Throw in the dried red chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute.
- Pour the seasoning over the sauce and mix well. Let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat until desired consistency is attained.
Health Benefits of Tamarind ~
Tamarind is a very well known herb having many uses such as culinary, medicinal, ornamental uses and as an economic dye. Its botanical name is Tamarindus indica. Tamarind is included in daily diet as it has many health benefits that are sure to keep you healthy or improve you overall health.
- Tamarind has multiple benefits as cathartic, febrifuge, antiseptic and refrigent.
- Tamarind is used as an Ayurvedic medicine for gastric problem, digestion problems and cardio protective activity.
- Tamarind can be used as a mild laxative. The pulp which comes from the pods of the tamarind tree is a gentle laxative that improves general sluggishness of the bowels. One to two tablespoons of the pulp in evening can improve bowel movements.
- Tamarind is very useful to treat bilious disorders. Being acidic it excites the bile and other juices in the body.
- Tamarind leaves are used in herbal tea for reducing malaria fever.
- Tamarind lowers cholesterol level in the body and helps in promoting healthy heart.
- Sore throat is treated when gargled with dilute tamarind pulp.
- Decoction of tamarind leaves is useful in treating jaundice and ulcers.
- Dilute tamarind decoction can help in destroying the stomach worms in children.
- Tamarind protects from Vitamin C deficiency.
- Tamarind heals the inflammation of the skin to great extent.
- Tamarind seeds are used in preparations of eye drops that treat dry eye syndrome.
- Being a good source of antioxidants, tamarind helps fight against cancer.
- Juice extracted from tamarind flowers are used for treating piles
- Tamarind is used as blood purifier.
Other uses of Tamarind:
- Tamarind pulp is used for jams, syrups and sweets. In the West, tamarind contributes to the preparation of Worcestershire and barbecue sauces and other meat condiments.
- Tamarind juice is used as a cleaning agent of brass, copper and other metal.
Medicinal Benefits of Tamarind Paste:
As tamarind is available in many forms, one can use tamarind paste for treating several health conditions. Below is a list of some medicinal benefits of tamarind paste:
- Reduces skin infections
- Pink eye or conjunctivitis
- Dry eyes
- Severe dysentery
- Chronic diarrhea
- Gall bladder disorder
- Liver disorders
- Bile disorders
- Keratitis or swelling of the cornea
- Pregnancy related vomiting and nausea
- Production of saliva in the mouth
- Rheumatism or reduction of pain in the joints
- Skin disinfection
- Sun screen
- Healing of wounds
- Blood tonic
- Preventing progression of fluorosis
- General body pain
- Urinary stones
Nutritional Value of Tamarind:
Following are nutritional values present in 100 grams of tamarind.
- Calories – 239
- Protein – 2.8 gm
- Carbohydrates – 62.5 gm
- Fat – 0.6 gm
- Phosphorus – 113 mg
- Iron – 2.8 mg
- Calcium – 74 mg
- Vitamin C – 2 mg
- Niacin – 1.2 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.14 mg
- Thiamin (vitamin B) – 0.34 mg
- Vitamin A – 30 IU
- Vitamin K – 2.8 mg
- Vitamin E – 0.1 mg
- Pyridoxine – 0.066 mg
- Pantothenic Acid – 0.143 mg
- Niacin – 1.938 mg
- Folate – 14 mg
- Dietary fiber – 5.1 g
- Fat – 0.6 g
- Protein – 2.8 g
- Energy – 239 kcal
- Potassium – 628 mg
- Sodium – 28 mg
- Zinc – 0.1 mg
- Selenium – 1.3 mg
- Phosphorus – 113 mg
- Magnesium – 92 mg
- Copper – 0.86 mg
- Calcium – 74 mg
- Carotene – 18 mg