How To Prepare And Eat Tamarind Seeds

The tamarind fruit pulp isn’t the only part of the plant that is edible. 

For centuries, people have consumed tamarind seeds as well. Tamarind seeds are seeds from the pods of the tamarind tree. 

Did you know that these seeds are edible? They have a tart, citrusy flavor and can be enjoyed either raw or cooked.

In this article, we’ll show you how to prepare tamarind seeds for eating. You will also learn more about these unique seeds, as well as how to eat them.

Read on to find out 🙂

Related: How To Make Tamarind Seed Powder

Are Tamarind Seeds Edible?

If you closely examine the tamarind fruit pod, you may notice that it has a pea-pod-like appearance. 

Each lump on the pod indicates a seed underneath. The seeds are shiny and black and are hidden inside the pulp. 

Close-up shot of the tamarind seed

But, are these seeds edible?

Yes, tamarind seeds can be eaten. Tamarind seeds can be eaten fresh, dried, or roasted. They have a nutty flavor with hints of caramel and chocolate. They are said to have a sweet, yet tangy taste and have been used for many years to flavor various dishes in areas where tamarind trees grow.

Tamarind seeds are surprisingly nutrient-dense. They are a good source of protein, fatty acids, potassium, amino acids, iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins. 

Over the years, the seeds have been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. 

Related: Tamarind Benefits For Skin And Hair

How do you take out tamarind seeds?

Tamarind seeds can be taken out by gently pressing on the pod with your fingers until it splits open. Once the seeds are exposed, they can be scooped out with your fingers or a fork.

This process is easier when you allow the pods to dry a bit. Once the pods are dried, the outer shell becomes much easier to break and remove. 

This can be done by gently pressing on the pod with your fingers until it splits open. Once the seeds are exposed, they can be scooped out with your fingers or a spoon.

When you break and remove the outer shell, you will notice a fibrous pulp inside. This tamarind pulp hides multiple seeds. Areas of the seed pod that are spherical and raised usually indicate a seed underneath.

This can give you a better idea of where to look when you are opening the shell and removing the pulp to find seeds. The pulp can be tricky to work with, so be prepared to get your hands messy. 

Gently remove the seeds with your fingers or a fork and set them aside in a container.  You may want to save the pulp as well since it can also be used to make a variety of delicious, edible dishes.

Related: What Is Tamarind Puree?

Can you eat raw tamarind seeds?

It may not be the best idea to try and eat tamarind seeds raw, even though they are technically edible. This is due to the hard outer shell of the seed.

In emergency survival situations, people have eaten raw tamarind seeds for nutrition purposes, but the hard outer shell makes them better to eat after soaking them for several hours first. In fact, it is advised to soak raw tamarind seeds for up to 12 hours to soften the outer shell. 

Once the outer shell has been softened, the seeds are often roasted, boiled, or fried. Roasted tamarind seeds can actually be ground into small pieces to use as a substitute for coffee (and sometimes blended with coffee to make it last longer).

Tamarind seeds have been described as hard and crunchy when eaten raw.  Remember that when eating tamarind seeds in any form, eat them in moderation.

Related: Benefits Of Tamarind For Males

How do you use fresh tamarind seeds?

One of the best ways to use fresh tamarind seeds is to soak them to soften the hard outer shell and then roast them.  While it is technically possible to eat fresh tamarind seeds, it is quite difficult due to the hard outer shell of the seed. 

This is why soaking for up to twelve hours is advised before preparing the seeds.  Rather than consume them fresh, try soaking them and then roasting them in a pan on the stovetop. 

Related: Tamarind Benefits For Females [+15 Sexual Benefits]

How to Prepare Tamarind Seeds For Eating

Tamarind seeds are a popular snack in many parts of the world, and they can be easily prepared at home. Below is a step-by-step process on how to prepare tamarind seeds:

1. Remove seeds from pods

First, the seeds need to be removed from the pod. To do this, start by removing the seeds from the fruit pod. This can be done by gently pressing on the pod with your fingers until it splits open. Once the seeds are exposed, they can be scooped out with your fingers or a spoon.

2. Wash seeds

The seeds need to be rinsed thoroughly to remove any sticky residue. Wash under running water using a colander.

3. Soak the seeds

Soak them for several hours to soften the hard outer shell. Then Lay them on a cloth to pat dry. 

4. Roast the seeds

Place them in a pan on the stovetop under medium heat and roast them for 15 to 20 minutes. You will notice the shell of the seeds turn black, and this is normal. 

Stir them occasionally to make sure the seeds are receiving evenly-distributed heat.  When the seeds start spluttering, they are ready to remove from heat.

5. De-hull roasted seeds

Before eating the seeds, they will need to be de-hulled. This can be done in two ways. 

The first way involves using a mortar and pestle.  Place some seeds in the mortar and pestle and then gently crush the hull. No need to crush the whole seed, you only want to crack and remove the hull. 

Another way to do this is to place the seeds in a towel and roll them around in it to crack the hulls.  You may also use a rolling pin to remove the hulls. 

The end result will leave you with seeds that have the blackened hulls removed and are ready for snacking. 

When done, the seeds can be eaten as is for snacking.

Tamarind seeds are nutrient-dense and great for snacking and they can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Other ways to eat tamarind seeds include:

  • Addition to smoothies
  • Addition to salads
  • Boiled to make tea

Related: Does Tamarind Paste Have Soy?

Can you boil tamarind seeds?

Yes, tamarind seeds can be boiled. In fact, this is another popular way to prepare them. If you want to boil tamarind seeds, all you have to do is remove them from the tamarind fruit pod and then wash them. 

Normally, you would need to soak them for up to twelve hours, but because you are boiling them, you don’t have to soak them first. Next, place the seeds in a pot of boiling water. Make sure you have enough water to completely cover the seeds and then some. 

Keep an eye on the pot as it boils to make sure the water level stays where it needs to be and that too much water doesn’t evaporate from the pot. 

Allow them to boil until the outer shell is softened and they are easy to bite into. This can take anywhere from twenty minutes to over an hour depending on the hardness of the seed’s outer shell. 

Can Tamarind seeds be used to make tea?

Some people boil a few tamarind seeds in a cup of water for several minutes to make tea. 

Tamarind seed tea is used medicinally to treat a variety of conditions. They can be used for boosting the immune system, improving liver and digestive health, and fighting infections.

Other benefits of tamarind tea include treating parasites, easing constipation, nourishing the skin, calming a sore throat, and treating menstrual cramps. 

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Author: Julie Cooper