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.