Tamarind is the curved brown bean-pod from the Tamarind tree. The pod contains a sticky pulp enclosing numerous shiny black seeds. The pulp is used as a flavouring for its sweet, sour, fruity aroma and taste. It is available as a pressed fibrous slab, or as a jamlike bottled concentrate, and some Indian shops carry the dried pods. The juice or paste is used as a souring agent, particularly in lentil dishes, curries and chutneys, where its flavour is more authentic than vinegar or lemon juice. Tamarind contains pectin which is used in the manufacturing process of commercially produced jams, so it is a natural ingredient in many jams, jellies, and fruit drinks.
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