Tamarind, is a magnificent tree that is native to tropical areas of Africa. The tamarind is a bushy tree of medium height, usually a maximum height of around 12 metres. The Leaves are bright green and elliptical ovular in shape arranged in alternate pattern, they are about 4 – 5 cm in length. The tree has a single trunk with branches drooping, particulalry as the tree matures.The tamarind does produce a small 5 petaled Flower, red and yellow in colour.
The fruit is a encapsulated in a pod 12 to 15 cm in length, with a hard, brown shell. It has an acid pulp hcih istangy in flavour with a brown or reddish-brown colouration. The fruit pulp is very nutritious being high in B vitamins and in Calcium and is a staple ingredient in East African and North African cuisine. As the tree is a tropical species so is sensitive to frost.
Tamarind Pulp is used around the world in a variety of cusines, including Pad Thai Curries, Moroccan and middle eastern curries, as a refreshing drink and in chutneys in East Africa and Zanzibar. Can replace lemon juice in recipes providing an incredible boost to flavour and taste.
The gruit is a legume, sometimes called a pod, 12 to 15 cm (3 to 6 inches) in length, with a hard, brown shell. The fruit has a fleshy, juicy, acidulous 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 short pods containing one to six seeds. The seeds are somewhat flattened, and glossy brown.
The tamarind is best described as sweet and sour in taste, and is high in tartaric acid, sugar, B vitamins and, oddly for a fruit, calcium.
You can make a delicious drink from the fruit of this tree. Take seeds out of pod and cook the pulp. Add sugar and water and boil until soft. Add water and ice to make a delicious tea!
The tamarind is a long-lived, medium-growth, bushy tree, which attains a maximum crown height of 12 to 18 meters (40 to 60 feet). The crown has an irregular, vase-shaped outline of dense foliage. The tree grows well in full sun in clay, loam, sandy, and acidic soil types, with a high drought and aerosol salt (wind-borne salt as found in coastal areas) resistance.
Leaves are evergreen, bright green in color, elliptical ovular, arrangement is alternate, of the pinnately compound type, with pinnate venation and less than 5 cm (2 inches) in length. The branches droop from a single, central trunk as the tree matures and is often pruned in human agriculture to optimize tree density and ease of fruit harvest. At night, the leaflets close up.
The tamarind does flower, though inconspicuously, with red and yellow elongated flowers. Flowers are 2.5 cm wide (one inch), five-petalled, borne in small racemes, and yellow with orange or red streaks. Buds are pink as the four sepals are pink and are lost when the flower blooms.
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