The tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) is a leguminous tree bearing edible fruit that is probably indigenous to tropical Africa. Of all the fruit trees of the tropics, none is more widely distributed nor more appreciated as an ornamental than the tamarind tree.
Tamarind tree fruit
The fruit is harvested by pulling the pod from its stalk. The fruit has a fleshy, juicy, acidic pulp. It is mature when the flesh is colored brown or reddish brown. The tamarinds of Asia have longer pods (containing six to 12 seeds), whereas African and West Indian varieties have shorter pods (containing one to six seeds).
This tree seedling is an Asian variety. The fruit is best described as sweet and sour in taste, and is high in tartaric acid, sugar, B vitamins, and, unusually for a fruit, calcium.
As the tamarind tree fruit matures it becomes sweeter and less sour (acidic) and the ripened fruit is considered more palatable. The sourness varies between cultivars and some sweet tamarind ones have almost no acidity when ripe. This tamarind tree seedling is a sweet variety.
In Western cuisine, tamarind pulp is found in Worcestershire Sauce and HP Sauce.
Tamarind paste has many culinary uses including a flavoring for chutneys, curries, and a traditional sharbat syrup drink. Tamarind sweet chutney is popular in India and Pakistan as a dressing for many snacks and often served with samosa.
Tamarind pulp is a key ingredient in flavoring curries and rice in south Indian cuisine, in the Chigali lollipop, in rasam, and in certain varieties of masala chai tea.
Across the Middle East, from the Levant to Iran, tamarind is used in savory dishes, notably meat-based stews, and often combined with dried fruits to achieve a sweet-sour tang.
In the Philippines, the whole fruit is used as an ingredient in the traditional dish called sinigang to add a unique sour taste, unlike that of dishes that use vinegar instead.
Indonesia also has a similarly sour, tamarind-based soup dish called sayur asem.
In Mexico and the Caribbean, the pulp from the fruit of the tamarind tree is diluted with water and sugared to make an agua fresca drink. It is widely used throughout all of México for candy making, including tamarind mixed with chilli powder candy.
The leaves and bark of the tamarind tree are also edible, and the seeds can be cooked to make safe for consumption.
Tamarind seed oil is the oil made from the kernel of tamarind seeds.
Tamarind kernel powder is used as sizing material for textile and jute processing, and in the manufacture of industrial gums and adhesives. It is de-oiled to stabilize its colour and odor on storage.
Throughout Southeast Asia, the fruit of the tamarind tree is used as a poultice applied to the foreheads of people with fevers. The fruit exhibits laxative effects.
Tamarind tree lumber is used to make furniture, carvings, turned objects such as mortars and pestles, chopping blocks, and other small specialty wood items. Tamarind heartwood is reddish brown, sometimes with a purplish hue.
In homes and temples, especially in Buddhist Asian countries, the fruit pulp is used to polish brass shrine statues and lamps, and copper, brass, and bronze utensils.
How to take care of a tamarind tree
Comme le arbre à feuilles de curry, the tamarind tree originates from a warm climate, and is not hardy in almost all parts of Europe. If you want to keep it the whole year round, it should serve as a house plant indoors when temperatures reach freezing point at night.
Seuls les arbres plus matures peuvent supporter quelques degrés en dessous de zéro degré Celsius.
Il doit recevoir beaucoup de lumière du soleil. Dès que l'hiver est terminé et qu'il n'y a plus de gelées nocturnes, l'arbre peut être placé à l'extérieur dans un endroit ensoleillé.
This tree does very well in dry conditions, so it will not really need the use of a humidity tray when it’s inside the house in the winter.
The seeds are somewhat flattened, and a glossy brown. The tamarind tree can be propagated through its seeds, teneer grafting, shield budding, and air layering.
To ensure that it’s delivered in perfect condition, your tamarind tree will be shipped in custom plant mail-order cardboard packaging.
Questions et réponses
- Do I need to re pot the tamarind tree when it arrives?
Réponse : après quelques semaines d'acclimatation, vous pouvez le rempoter dans un pot plus grand pendant la saison de croissance (mai-septembre).
- What soil do I use for my tamarind tree?
Réponse : L'arbre tolère une grande diversité de types de sol. Vous pouvez utiliser n'importe quel terreau ordinaire de bonne qualité.
- L'utilisation d'engrais est-elle recommandée ?
Réponse : Les plantes n'ont pas besoin d'engrais pour se développer, mais lorsqu'elles sont en période de croissance, elles se portent mieux si elles sont fertilisées. Si vous décidez d'utiliser un engrais, nous vous recommandons d'utiliser un engrais liquide.
- Do I need to prune my tamarind tree?
Si vous le gardez en pot dans la maison, oui, vous devrez le tailler pour qu'il conserve une taille raisonnable. Ne le taillez que pendant la saison de croissance.