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Food profile: Tamarind (Tsamiya)

Tsamiya is one of the widely used spice-condiments found in the average northern Nigeria kitchen.
It has a delicately sweet and sour taste and is mostly used in adding flavor to food. It's very similar to Black velvet tamarind (Licky licky, Icheku "Igbo") and tastes very alike. Scientifically, it is known as Tamarindus indica , belonging to the family of Fabaceae, in the genus: Tamarindus. It's got a brown shell with a light brown colored pulp. When it's very ripe , the pulp turns dark brown. This can now be dissolved in water and used in flavoring food.

Some Health benefits & Uses

• Tsamiya (tamarind) is a rich source of dietary fiber.

• It's pulp is used in traditional medicine as a laxative to induce bowel movements or loosen the stool thereby helping to prevent constipation. It is also used as a remedy for biliousness and bile disorders.

• Tamarind is rich in tartaric acid. Tartaric acid gives sour taste to food while acting as powerful anti-oxidant. It thus helps protect the human body from harmful free radicals.

• It is also rich in many vital vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, vitamin-A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin-C. Much of these vitamins plays the role of antioxidants as well as co-factor functions for enzyme metabolism in the body.

Do you know Tamiya? What do you use it for. 

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  1. I use tsamiiya to make Kunun tsamiya (Tamarind Pap) it's one of the best Kunus ever and it is served warm. Then I also make tamarind juice with water and sugar or honey. That's an amazing laxative and cleanser. I also use it when I'm working on Thai or Malay cuisines.

    1. Hi dear, can I pls have tamarind juice recipe? Thanks

    2. Hello! Anonymous! For tamarind juice I use 80 grams of tamarind in 2 L of boiling water. Simmer together for 20 minutes, then sweeten with honey or sugar to taste. Serve chilled. That's it. I find it best to serve when cold. Warm tamarind will have a worse laxative effect. But cold tamarind will still cleanse you but won't cause diarrhea.

  2. Ummi bee you must truly love food but are you Nigerian?

    1. Hehehe! Yeah I do love food :) and yes, I'm Nigerian :D born and partially bred. Thanks for the compliment!

  3. Ummibee you must truly love food. Are you nigerian?

  4. I use tsamiya for kunun gyada. It creates the perfect taste for an already great tasting and nutritious meal. I also use it for kunun tsamiya.

    1. Hey, that's a good idea! Might start adding it to mine.

  5. 👍👍👍👍 where can you get tamarind in USA


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