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Tamarind is a very well known herb and plant used by the Indians from a long time ago. The large pods of the fruit contain small seeds and a sour-pulp that, when dried, becomes extremely sour .With the increasing use of tamarind in food preparations, ready to use tamarind powder has found a market place. This is because it has a lesser fiber content, is ready to use directly in preparations and is not cumbersome or messy to use .The production process of tamarind powder comprises of first cleaning the tamarind fruit to remove the seeds and adhering dirt. The fiber is removed to the maximum extent possible. The pulp is then shredded in the shredder. It is then dried and mixed with starch to a maximum extent of 20% and then mix ground in a pin mill to form a coarse powder like mass. The material is then packed in pouches and cartons before distribution. It is used in a variety of food items like Sambar, Rasam, Chutneys, Sauces etc.
How to select
Check the best before date before buying powdered tamarind.
· The powdered tamarind imparts a subtle tart flavour without being overly bitter or sour. You can add quite a lot of the paste to any recipe, increasing your nutrient intake and giving your taste buds a real treat at the same time.
· Tamarind powder is soaked in water to extract the sourness. The sour water is then used for culinary uses.
· Tamarind powder is a commonly used condiment in daily culinary practices. It is used in the preparation of sambar, rasams, soups, gravies, modified rice preparations, sweet sour sauce, etc.
· Tamarind powder is used as a flavoring in east Indian and middle eastern cuisine. It's used to season full flavored foods such as chutney, curry dishes and pickled fish.
· Quite a few delicacies are prepared with these powders in Andhra cuisine like Chintachiguru pachadi, Chintachiguru pappu and Chintachiguru Mamsam (meat).
· These tamarind extract when combined with the dal lend the dish a pleasingly wonderful flavor with a delicate undertone of sourness without overpowering the earthy comforting flavor of the dal.
How to store
The tamarind powder can be stored in an air tight container and used for months.
· Tamarind is cathartic, astringent and, antiseptic.
· In India Tamarind is popular as a gentle laxative
· Tamarind is acidic and excites the bile and other juices in the body. Tamarind is also a blood purifier.
· Folk medicine uses Tamarind powder paste for sprains and swelling.