Anyone for Pad Thai? If you like the sweet and sour flavour of this popular Thai entrée, you’ll love the subtle flavour of tamarind. That’s the sharp tang you taste in this piquant dish.
This sticky, pulpy fruit is beloved in Asia where it is used liberally in most dishes. And for good reason. Not only does it pack a taste punch but it’s a powerful weapon to add to your anti-aging arsenal.
Caution: constipation and bowel movement talk ahead.
Yes. Unfortunately, many older people experience constipation. It often stems from insufficient roughage in one’s diet. This then leads indirectly to other yucky problems like LDL (low-density lipoproteins) or bad cholesterol.
Munching on some tamarind pulp will provide you with plenty of dietary fibre so your bowels get to move. The fibre* actually binds to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) which are then excreted rather than re-absorbed into the colon – one way to move some bad cholesterol!
Tamarind has a couple of extra benefits for your colon: the sticky fibres safeguard the colon’s inner lining from toxins and thus reduce the chances of colorectal cancer. If you’re often backed-up – try one to two tablespoons of tamarind pulp in the evenings and you’ll discover another benefit. It’s a natural and gentle laxative.
You can find blocks of tamarind in Indian and Asian grocery stores. Candied tamarind balls are also available and are very addictive once you acquire a taste for them.
Aging bodies and free radicals are unfortunate partners but using tamarind in everyday cooking is one way to break up this partnership. Tamarind is rich in a powerful anti-oxidant called tartaric acid. It’s what gives this fruit its peculiar sour taste. Total those free radicals lurking around in your body by adding this condiment to some of your main meals.
This tropical fruit** also stockpiles beneficial minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. We all know iron is absolutely essential to produce red blood cells but potassium is another vital mineral that cells need. It’s essential for them to function and it also helps to control heart rate and blood pressure – two essential factors that keep us young.
Pad Thai – anyone?
*all dietary fibre, not just tamarind
** tamarind trees are native to Africa but can grow anywhere tropical.
1. Break the tamarind into small pieces and soak in hot boiling water for one hour.
2. Mash it into a pulp and strain pressing the tamarind into the strainer so that all the pulp comes out.
3. Add sugar to the pulp and mix well.
4. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix again well and taste. Add more sugar, salt or pepper as needed.
5. Chutney can be refrigerated for two to three months.