Tamarinds are slow-growing, long-lived, evergreen trees which have 3 - 8 inch long, brown, irregularly curved pods in abundance along the new branches. As the pods mature, they fill out somewhat and the juicy, acidulous pulp turns brown or reddish-brown. When fully ripe, the shells are brittle and easily broken. The pulp dehydrates to a sticky paste enclosed by a few coarse stands of fiber .The pods contains flat, glossy brown, seeds embedded in the brown, edible pulp.
Tamarind, the very mention of which’s name makes our mouth watery is a fruit pod produced by a tall semi-evergreen tropical tree, having its origin in Eastern Africa and now extensively found also in India. As the pods mature, they fill out somewhat and the juicy, acidulous pulp turns brown or reddish-brown. When fully ripe, the shells are brittle and easily broken.
Tamarind is generally used in India as paste or pulp in addition to its being a main constituent in our daily food preparations. India holds the credit of chief producer of this crop. This extremely sour fruit is available in whole pods, compressed blocks, paste or concentrate. It is used as a base for spicy and sometimes sweet sauces. It is often the main ingredient in juices, soups, chatnis and bean dishes.
The harvesting season for Tamarind is form January to April and its major producing Centers in India are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.