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The fruit of a tropical tree, tamarind is an indispensable spice in most south Indian kitchens. Today, India is the only producer of tamarind on a commercial scale. A large part of India's production of tamarind is exported to West Asia, Europe and America, where it is used in such food specialties like Worcestershire sauce. This spice also comes in the forms of pulp and juice concentrates which mainly go into the preparation of cool drinks, sea foods and a range of sophisticated cuisine.
Tamarind or tamar-i-hind, the 'date of India' as the Arabs described it, is one of the most widespread trees of the Indian subcontinent. It may have originated in Africa, but its history in South Asia is ancient and it is widespread in the region.