The tamarind tree is native to Asia and Africa, but it also grows in tropical climates around the world. It produces pods of fruit that taste sweet and sour when ripe and even more sour when unripe or dried.
India and Thailand produce the most tamarind, and it holds a prominent place in their cooking. But it's a staple ingredient in other Asian cuisines, too. You'll also find it in African and Middle Eastern cooking.
The sticky pulp of the brown pods of tamarind has a sweet and sour flavor. It provides tang and acidity to entrees such as pad Thai and chutneys, desserts, beverages, syrups, sauces, and candy. It is a low-glycemic fruit with many beneficial micronutrients, making it a nutritious whole food ingredient.
Tamarind is a great source of B vitamins and vitamin C, and is a potassium-rich fruit. Raw tamarind pulp provides carbohydrates and fiber, and minimal amounts of fat and protein. We are so lucky to be able to grow this plant in New Zealand.
Whilst the perfect growing condition would be in the ground, they would make a happy indoor plants too if planted in a large pot, or train like a bonsai and receives a lot of love from you.
The cooking tamarind plant will be more hardy when they are established around 4 years, in which they may be alright growing fully in the outdoor if you live somewhere warm like the Northland area or if you have access to the greenhouse, you could grow this plant anywhere in NZ.
Plant is 1-2 years. Self Fertile. A healthy plant will shed leaves during cold season and reshoot when its warmer.
They like morning sun, but protect them from direct afternoon sun light. They are happier in a warm shaded area or move to a warmer area during colder night and month.
They don't like too much water. Just keep the soil moist and only water when the top 2cm of the soil is dry.
They love organic matter so soil rich with compost and free draining potting mix will be suitable. Mulch them during winter.
In a large container feed them regularly once a month with a granular general fertilizer and some well composted chicken manure. Give them seaweed fertilizer as well weekly during growing season in Spring right through Summer .