Arabs are believed to have called it “date of India”; the English word date is related to “dactyl”, the Latin word for finger, which applies to the pod of the imli tree more than to the fruit of the date palm.
Tamarindus indica L.is the botanical name for Tamarind. It is the only important spice of African origin. Today, it is a much-valued food ingredient in many Asian or Latin American recipes.
In India, imli is mostly combined with meat or legumes (lentils, chick peas or beans). The pulp is sold dry and must be soaked before usage. Only the water is then added to the food.
Tamarindus indica L. tree originated in Africa, but now it is cultivated mainly in South India and in the Caribbean.