Tamarind or tamar-i-hind, 'the date of india' as the Arabs described it, (referring probably to its brown and sticky resemblance), is one of the most widespread trees of the Indian subcontinent.
The Tamarind tree may have originated in Africa, but ancient records in South Asia show that this fruit is widespread within the region producing larger pods.
Tamarind has many uses, but it is best known as a souring agent in food flavouring.
The refreshing sour taste of the fruit is particularly popular in South India and there are numerous references to it in ancient Tamil literature.
Tamarind fuits and leaves have been used in traditional South Asian medicine.
The Fruits are used to flavour drinks given to patients with fever.
When prescribed in this way, the tamarind is often mixed with lime, honey, milk and spices.