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I just bought some fresh Tamarind & was told that I can eat the Tamarind seeds. Are they really edible? How would I prepare them if so?

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Hello and welcome to Seasoned Advice! Nutrition advice and "what is good for you" is off topic on our site, see also cooking.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask. So I removed this part of your question and left the rest, which is on-topic. You will have to go somewhere else if you want to know if there is any health benefit of eating the tamarind seeds. It is best to consult a qualified nutritionist, as the Internet is full of misinformation on nutrition topics. –  rumtscho Feb 24 '14 at 16:01

2 Answers 2

They're certainly edible, but you might have to work for it.

A Western view from Purdue CropINDEX:

Tamarind seeds have been used in a limited way as emergency food. They are roasted, soaked to remove the seedcoat, then boiled or fried, or ground to a flour or starch. Roasted seeds are ground and used as a substitute for, or adulterant of, coffee.

People from more native cultures are perhaps more willing to put in the effort:

... But I was surprised to find those semi-charred seeds tasting wonderful. They were a little like well-roasted peanuts without their disadvantages, and gave me both the challenge and company I seek of suparis!

I also found a few other mentions of them being a snack food, something people had eaten at home, like this one, which also mentions roasting and de-shelling in bulk with a grinding stone.

As for how to prepare them, I think your best bet might be to roast them, peel with the aid of a mortar and pestle (to crack them open), then soak for overnight or for a day in buttermilk like this recipe suggests. It's worth looking at the full recipe - there's more detail and a little background.

You can certainly try them before soaking as well, if you're looking for something that takes work to eat - you might have to suck and chew a while. As the recipe SAJ14SAJ found says, and says "This is the real test for teeth as it is very hard and crunchy."

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According to Plant Cultures,

The seeds are also edible and flour made from them can be used to bake cakes and breads. Roasted seeds are reputed to be delicious.

Finding recipes that address removing the very tough seed coat is difficult, especially since there are false hits for the flesh or pulp of the fruit, as well as many non-culinary uses. Here is one set of instructions.

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Hm, that link you found does address removing the seed coat, but it just says "remove the outer cover" - do you know if it's straightforward once they're roasted? I think we need to know that to fully answer the question. –  Jefromi Feb 24 '14 at 21:31
@Jefromi The problem is sensible references that don't devolve into strange health claims are very hard to find. This was the best I could do with a reasonable search effort. It is clear they are not harmful. It is not clear what the right treatments are to make them palatable. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 24 '14 at 21:32
Once you're past the harder-to-find objective "is it edible" stuff, finding practical advice isn't actually too hard. A few more of the results for [roasted tamarind seeds] are helpful (mentioned in my answer). –  Jefromi Feb 25 '14 at 0:03
@Jefromi Ironically, that is one of the first search strings I tried. I even saw the document you linked but gave up on it too early. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 25 '14 at 0:22

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