تمبر هندی (Tamarind)

تمبر هندی Tamarindتمبر هندی Tamarindتمبر هندی Tamarind

lat. Tamarindus indica
Group: Spices
Tamarind Tamarindus indica
Tamarind Tamarindus indica
Tamarind Tamarindus indica
Odor profile: Note that recalls the Tamarindus indica spice, with a bittersweet odor and an acidic profile.

Botanical Name
Tamarindus indica

(Sub family: Caesalpinioideae)

Common Name - ambli, amli, imli (Hindi), amalika (Sanskrit), tintiri, tintul, tetul (Bengali), asam jawa, assam, tambaring (Indonesia), trai me (Vietnam), makham (Thailand), siyambala, maha siyambala (Sri Lanka), etc.

Tamarind is known as a multi-purpose tropical fruit tree and isused primarily for its fruits, which may eaten fresh or processed, used as a seasoning or spice, or the fruits and seeds can processed for non-food uses.

Various geographical areas like India or the Far East or Africa are known as center of its origin but the consensus is that it is Africa. The tamarind has long been naturalized in the East Indies and the islands of the Pacific. One of the first tamarind trees in Hawaii was planted in 1797 and it was introduced much earlier into tropical America, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the West Indies. It is mostly grown as a shade and fruit tree, along roadsides and parks in all tropical and near-tropical areas.


In India, the tamarind tree is considered to be haunted by spirits and is worshipped on a day called Amli Agiaras. Hindus may also tie a tamarind tree to a mango tree before eating the fruits of the latter and in effect "marry" the species. The natives of India consider the neighborhoods in which tamarind trees grow to be unwholesome, and that it is unsafe to sleep under the tree owing to the acid it exhales during the night.

Tamarind is a long-lived, large, evergreen or semi-evergreen tree. The trunk forks at about 1 m above ground and is often multi-stemmed with branches widely spreading, drooping at the ends and often crooked but forming a spreading, rounded crown. The bark is brownish-grey, rough and scaly. Young twigs are slender and puberulent. A dark red gum exudes from the trunk and branches when they are damaged. Leaves are alternate and even-pinnate and shortly petiolated.

Flowers are few to several, borne in lax racemes. The sepals are four, unequal, ovate, imbricate, membranous and coloured cream, pale yellow or pink. The petals are five, imbricate, coloured pale yellow, cream, pink or white, streaked with red. Flowers are bisexual. The color of the flowers is the same on each tree; they are not mixed. The fruits are pods, oblong, curved or straight, with rounded ends, somewhat compressed and indehiscent although brittle. The pod has an outer epicarp, which is light grey or brown and scaly. Within is the firm but soft pulp, which is thick and blackish brown. The pulp is traversed by formed seed cavities, which contain the seeds. The outer surface of the pulp has three tough branched fibers from the base to the apex. Each pod contains 1-12 seeds, which are flattened, glossy, orbicular to rhomboid, and the centre of each flat side of the seed marked with a large central depression. Seeds are hard, red to purple brown, non-arillate and ex-albuminous.

The pulp of tamarind fruit contains protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. The pulp contains oil, which is greenish in color and liquid at room temperature. The major volatile constituents of tamarind pulp include furan derivatives and carboxylic acids, the components of which are furfural, palmitic acid, oleic acid and phenyl-acetaldehyde. The seed oil is golden yellow, semi-drying oil, which in some respects resembles groundnut oil.


    The pulp is usually removed from the pod and used to prepare juice, jam, syrup and candy. The acidic pulp of fruit is used as a favorite ingredient in culinary preparations such as curries, chutneys, sauces, ice cream and sherbet in countries where the tree grows naturally.

    The seeds are used for playing indoor games.
     It is also used to make "tamarind fish," a seafood pickle, which is considered a great delicacy. In Eastern African countries, the pulp is cooked and made into a porridge called ugali made from sorghum or maize flour or dissolved to make a sweet drink.

    In India the juice is used to preserve fish, which can be preserved for up to six months when mixed with acetic acid. Tamarind drink is popular in many countries around the world, though there are many different recipes.

    In Ghana, the pulp is mixed with sugar and honey to make a sweet drink, Jugo and fresco de tamarindo.

    In the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, fibers are removed from the fruit pulp, which is mixed with sugar, wrapped in paper and sold as toffees. Sellers of these are a common sight in front of schools and on urban roadsides.

    Young leaves of tamarind are used as a seasoning vegetable in some Thai food recipes because of their sourness and specific aroma.

Perfumes and colognes with a tamarind note include Cocoa Tamarind from Floraison collection, which has fragrance notes of Mexican tamarind with sweet orange, gardenia, clove bud and vanilla musk and Black XS for Her Paco Rabanne for women is a super popular fragrance has sharp and spicy tamarind note. Similarly, Lalique White by Lalique is a Citrus Aromatic fragrance for men has tamarind as top note and Lucky You for men by Liz Claiborne was launched in 2000 and it contains a blend of tamarind, melilotus herb, cotton flower, cardamom, cascarilla bark, musk, sandalwood, bamboo stem, rosewood and teakwood. If you want to search more fragrances then you can search by notes through Fragrantica.

Photos: su_lin, doc(q)man, Harshad_Sharma, Mal.Smith

Author: Dr. Chandra Shekhar Gupta (cshekhar)

Fragrantica Writer

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