So, I’ve been seeing these long, brown beans in the fruit section of the Mambo grocery store where we shop. They’re tamarindo, or tamarind seeds. Eons ago, I read a book titled The Tamarind Seed, by Evelyn Anthony, and later saw the movie starring Julie Andrews and Omar (The Eyes) Sharif. But I knew nothing about the tree or the seed.
So today while shopping, I asked another shopper how one was supposed to eat the fruit. Taking pity on me, she called her daughter over to speak to me in English (at least I’d made myself understood) and had her explain how to eat the fruit of the seed.
It’s simple, you crack it, peel it, and eat the inside seed. So, on her recommendation, I bought some and we took them home to try. (Tom was the victim…again.)
First, you crack ’em.
We learned quickly that if they are already cracked, or if they have worm holes in them, you don’t want to eat them. They’re likely rotten or moldy. It’s a good thing we bought quite a few. Most of them were no good.
Not certain what they were supposed to look like, we figured we’d know a good one when we saw it. We did.
This one was the consistency of a prune. And it smelled okay, so, Tom risked it. (I had the camera or I would have tried it…uhn-huhn.)
He likes it! Mikey likes it!
When he was still breathing after two minutes, I tried one. They’re sweet with a sour kick. The sour took off the tops of our heads, but they were really tasty before that: sort of like a prune with a vengeful twist. I’m not sure how often we’ll eat them, but we tried something new and I’m pleased about that. Apparently, you can make milkshakes from them. This is something I will not try at home. But, if you run across these in the store, I recommend trying them!
UPDATE: I just heard from my friend Ketaki in India that they use tamarind seeds to flavor curry.
Well your taste buds need to adapt themselves to the taste of tamrind . “We usually soak it in water, squeeze the pulp , remove and throw away the seeds, and use the water to flavor the curry.” I am going to try this next time I make curry!