The brown pod-like fruit of the tamarind tree is a cooking ingredient used across Southern Asia for its sour flavor and ability to tenderize meat.
The tamarind seed is used widely in Southeast Asian cooking. It can be used as a base for chutneys, sauces, marinades and stews. It is also made into candy and used in drinks and desserts. Tamarind extract is one of the secret ingredients of Worcestershire sauce.
To make tamarind water, combine 2 to 3 ounces of tamarind pulp with 1 cup boiling water in a nonmetallic bowl. Mash the mixture with a fork and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain by rubbing through a sieve. Tamarind juice is also available in cans.