The fresh tamarind fruit pulp, which is light brown, is dried and compressed into sticky blocks that look like a mass of fruit, fiber and seeds.
The seeds are removed and the pulp needs to be mixed with a little hot water to soften. Strain before using. Tamarind adds a tart flavor and a caramel-like color to soups and stir-fries as well as some barbecue dishes.
Tamarind in culinary