|reconstituted tamarind pulp|
The tamarind does have scientifically proven medicinal value, for many purposes, not just as a digestive. Because of its high levels of vitamin C it is a powerful antiscorbutic, and the pulp has value as a laxative as well. Native folklore also attests to the hangover-reducing properties of tamarind juice.
Fresh tamarinds are available in supermarkets in some regions of Brazil. In other regions, frozen pulp, completely natural, is available in market freezers and can be reconstitued with water to make juice or merely thawed when pulp is called for.
In upcoming posts, we'll feature some traditional recipes from Brazil which call for tamarind. In North America you can sometimes find fresh tamarind in Latin or Asian food markets, and in those same markets you can find semi-dried pulp in small packages. By soaking this pulp in hot water and removing the seeds you can make your own ready-to-use tamarind.