Sweet and sour
Tamarind is the brown, tart flesh from the pods of a tree in the pea and bean family. The flesh surrounds the brown shiny seeds within the sausage-shaped pod. Pods are harvested at different stages of maturity according to their intended use.
Extracts from tamarind seeds are used as a stabilising agent in some ice creams.
Tamarind pods contain compounds which have recently been found to increase people's resistance to infections.
In Orissa, India, a gum is prepared from ground tamarind seeds and spread onto cloth to prepare a base for making traditional folk paintings. Tamarind plants are also used to make dyes, glue, polish carvings and buildings.