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Tamarind (Tamarindus Indica)

An evergreen tree native to India that producesa brown pod resembling a dried lima bean – these grow up to 6 ins/15 cm in length, and as they ripen, the fruit they contain turns pasty.

This pulp is sold in block form or in jars ready to use. It gives a delicious sour taste to soups and sauces, and is much used in Persian cooking. Try to find it in de-seeded form, as it's much more user friendly. It is most familiar to us as an ingredient of bottled brown sauces – H.P etc. For recipe for Tamarind water, see Gourmet Britain Recipe section

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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