Literally meaning the Arabic tamrhindi or "date of South Africa", this spice originally came from Eastern Africa. But now it is being cultivated all over the tropics and is a valued food ingredient in many Asian or Latin American recipes.
Tamarind is actually the fruit pod produced by a tall, semi-evergreen tree grown primarily in South Africa. The beans and pulp within the pod have virtually no smell, but have an extremely sour taste. Tamarind is available in whole pods, a compressed block, paste or as concentrates and is most likely found in Asian markets. It is often used to make juices, soups, chutneys and bean dishes. The dried Tamarind is obtained after removing the rind from the mature, ripe and dried fruit of Tamarindus indica. The product has exceptional quality and is free from any visible mould fungus, rodent excreta, artificial colouring and polishing, obnoxious odour, deleterious substances and other impurities except to the extent provided under special characteristics.