Oct 22, 2010

Tamarind seeds

Have you tried tamarind seeds? It used to be one of my favorites growing up. Grandma would roast it and bring when she comes visiting us. We remove the shell by hitting it with a rock or something or sometimes Grandma would de shell it in bulk in the grinding stone. We'll soak the seeds in water and after a while it will be chewable soft. Mostly I like eating it as is, soaking it in my mouth...

Sometimes I eat it raw too, it has somewhat of a bitter taste as the skin sticks to it. Favorite of all is plucking raw tamarind from Grandma's well-side tree and quickly biting in to remove the skin and other sour parts to get to the fresh seeds... I can still visualize the tree and how myself and my cousins will claim our favorite spots on the tree to sit on it with our feet dangling below, watching Grandma washing the clothes, applying neelam blue for her whites, carefully making starch for her other voile favorites, Grandma's assistants washing fish by the other side of the well, calling us to show the eggs inside and we starting to fight already for who gets it when it is fried... oh! how I long to be back there back then...

OK, getting back to the tamarind seeds, the reason I recall it is that last night while making sambar I came across a rare tamarind seed and was staring at it long and hard, flying back in time to the memories of the carefree tree climbing days, Grandma living days and wondering how far I have traveled from there since then.

Yes, I tried it; no, it didn't taste the same - the tamarind seed. I guess it only tastes good when it comes from Grandma... I am sure there will be tamarind trees in heaven too. Won't there?

22 comments:

Hari K Gottipati said...

Love to eat tamarind seeds in child hood days. Thanks for reminding!

SG said...

Aww Those were the days. yes, there are plenty of tamarind seeds in the heaven for grandma.

NRIGirl said...

Nice to know you like them too @Hari

and @SG! That's all I wanted to hear - that there will be plenty of tamarind trees in heaven :)

A said...

I will pass this onto my wife...she loves this kind of information.

kavita said...

I used to carry it to school to share with my friends !

NRIGirl said...

Sure @A! Let me know what she recalls.

You too @Kavita?!

Mohan Jadhav said...

Thanks for making me 'resensing' the taste of the tamarind. :)

We used to pound enough of the tamarind with salt, a little pepper, red chilly powder and a few spices. (Old and seasoned tamarind would be better for this ritual than the fresh one :)) Then, we would have a small balls made out of it, stuck to a handy stick or a straw and then tasted (not chewed as it was!). Ah, what a delectable thing it was! Divine! :)

I used to fight with my sisters to get more of that form when I was a kid :)

NRIGirl said...

@Mohan! You description is mouth watering. If you really know what these "other spices" are please share, may be we can try it now!!

How are you pal? I have been wondering about you. Very glad to hear from you. Please stay in touch.

Are you still writing? Please resend me your URL to nrigirl at hotmail dot com

Regards,
NRIGirl

Bikramjit Singh Mann said...

Nopes havnot had it .. but i love sambhar its my favourite dish...

Maybe i will try it

Bikram's Blog

NRIGirl said...

Oh! Bikramjit! You don't know what you are missing in life... Try it sometimes...

Stranger said...

Oh dear, I miss those roasted Tamrind seeds. My daughters do not know about it. We read your post together and I had a hard time explaining to them how we used to fight, me and my sis for those seeds our friends used to bring. It was taboo at our home since my mother used to believe it will make us sick.

It is not that common in our place. Next time I go to India, I promised them I will try to make it for them.. Thanks to you for reminding ..

dr.antony said...

We had a huge tree studded with fruits.As children we used to eat tamarind raw and ripe.But never had any one told us about the seeds.The seeds were just thrown away!There is also a saying in Kerala.."only the value of Pulimkuru"( tamarind seeds),meaning ,no value.

Philipinos make delicacies with tamarind.Some of our nurses bring tamarind coated with sugar,and it tastes so good.
These are just memories.Our children would never enjoy these things.Tastes have changed,like everything else in life.

NRIGirl said...

Sure, Stranger try some with your daughters and share with us how they liked it - the roasted tamarind seeds.

NRIGirl said...

True @Doc! Our taste was much different from our children's and to think what all they like to eat, we can't even fathom the thought of it... the way of life it is...

~ NRIGirl

Y L said...

When we were children, we used to take out the outer shell of a big ripe tamarind, make small holes on the top to put a thread and hang the shell on trees filled with a liquid mixture of tamarind water and jaggery water. After a few hours or so, may be next day, we shall drink the liquid. As children we enjoyed doing this.
we used to climb on our tamarind trees and help my mother to gather the fruits from the trees.
Since we went as a group with our lunch bundles etc, they were our picnics.Drying the fruits, shelling them, then removing the seeds out and again drying and preserving etc etc are routine annual jobs for my mother. May be we helped a little. Sometimes she hired some help.Those tamarind trees are gone with the land which we had to offer to the govt for some purpose. But the memories remain.The seeds are sold since it is needed to feed the milch cows.We can see people boiling the tamarind seeds for the cows they bring up in their houses.Since tamarind is an important ingredient in preparing fish curry, puli kulambu , and tamarind rice,rasam and even saambar, it is somewhat costly.

Y L said...

I remember a girl who did not wish to go and live with her in laws and whose biggest complaint is that she had to help them in shelling the tamarind fruits.

sm said...

beautiful pic
childhood days I used to eat many types of seeds

....Petty Witter said...

not a thing I've tried but it sounds yummy.

NRIGirl said...

Thank you for sharing Amma. Looks like I have enough material for a new post :)

~ Queenma

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Such a lovely post. I'm sure there will be tamarind seeds in heaven. They certainly have them in Mexico (not that that's heaven!)

Sanand said...

Though I've never tried it, this post took me back to my school vacations that I used to spend with my grandma and I suddenly found myself missing her a lot as I read your post.

What a touching post it is!

MJay said...

I too love tamarind the mention of brings water in my mouth...I have gron up eating tender leaves raw or cooked in daal, flowers were amazing especially with young soft tamrind just begining to grow, the soft young tamarind wiht salt was just so havenly, and then of course the raw tamrind pickle that my mother made , guess like how people have sweet tooth I have a sour tooth during my first pregnancy I would eat raw tamarind and my teeth never once felt sensitive.. comming to tamrind seeds just cant get enough of the toasted flavour..
Your article has brought back so many childhood memories will just put in a few keywords to spike up your memories of simple innocent life we lived then
Bimbli, starfruit, binda, punarpuli, ambada though we have a lot of sweet tasting foods , we also had our variety in sour foods.god bless you for posting this, these are memories we cherish and remember our childhood friends and relative in conne tion with this topic.

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