About Tamarind (Tsamiya)

Tamarind is a tropical hard wood legume, scientifically called Tamarindus  indica . It is mostly found in tropical Africa, including Nigeria and parts of Southern Asia, Mexico and the Carribeans.

Tamarind or Tsamiya (as we call it in Hausa) is a fruit popular for making “kunun tsamiya” , (a pudding from grains) in the north.

Nutritional Information

Tamarind is rich in carbohydrate, dietary fibre, vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium and Iron. It has high calories- 100g tamarind provides 239 calories, mostly coming from the sugar it has.

Uses

Medicinal

The dietary fibre is particularly effective in treating constipation because it increases bowel movement, especially when you let the tamarind stand for 2 to 3 hours after preparation before you drink it.

Tamarind has been found beneficial  as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory agent and the seeds are likely to lower blood pressure. The chemical it has, polyphenol, likely protects against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Cooking

You can use Tamarind to make marinades, sauces, drinks and dessert. It can be used in dried or fresh form.The fresh form of tamarind is very sour while the dried form tastes has a bit of sugary and sour taste.

In this recipe, I made a juice from tamarind raw pod and seeds. I added coconut to the juice to neutralize the sour taste. The coconut also gives it a very unique taste.

Ingredients 

  • 3 pods Tamarind (tsamiya)
  • 1 drop coconut flavor (or coconut water fro grated coconut)
  • 3 tablespoon table sugar
  • 500mls water
  • 1 slice cucumber

Direction

Step 1: Preparing the Tsamiya

Wash tamarind thoroughly in warm water. Add water to tamarind in a pot and boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Drain in a bowl.

Step 2:Making The Juice

Wash and slice some cucumber. Add cucumber slices to the bowl of tamarind. Add a drop of coconut flavor (or coconut water if you prefer). Add sugar ( to your taste).
Pour in a glass and chill in the fridge.

Going by the medical and cooking uses tamarind has, I urge you to make recipes with it, in its different forms.

Caution!

Tamarind candy is associated with lead-contamination in children. In a study conducted to investigate this claim, it concludes it is safer to avoid it children.

Have a great tamarind experience!

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