Manila Tamarind. Kodukkai Puli/Kodi-kai puli. Sweet Tamarind. Thai-Sweet Tamarind. Camachile Fruit.
My back home cook, Usha Nandhini...brought some surprise to me! These Camachile fruits!!!
The Botanical name of this tree is Pithecellobium dulce. Sources say it originated from Mexico to America, Central Asia and to India. Although I have seen these trees through out the highways(in India). Never had a clue of their culinary use. It resembles tamarind and it is widely called as Manila Tamarind. I had hard time finding its Tamil name.....'Koduka Puli', when thoroughly analysed the words...got the meaning...like 'Kodi-kai puli'(vined tamarind)! It is commonly called as 'Madras Thorn' or 'Monkey Pod' in English and 'Jungle Jilebi'/ 'Bilayati Imli' in Hindi. My friend Kranthi just furnished me with its Telugu name 'Seema Chintakayalu', probably means 'Foreign/Alien Tamarind'! Well...again my blog friend Rajeshwari told they call it as 'Kona Puliyankai' in Tamil, since this is pod coils so much...'Twisted Tamarind', nice name! Even my cook called it as 'Konakkai' means 'Twisted Vegetable'!
It is generally eaten my school kids, from road side vendors! I have never seen them hitting any market place(so far). Considered as intruding weed, if it grows in the residential area! The pod/pulp is widely used in the tanning industry(to clean their leather, I guess!)
The pod is kind of twisted(unlike tamarind, which is straight). They are greenish is color and on maturation goes to pinkish to deep red! Parrots and Squirrels like them a lot. The Pulp is in white color and sweetish in taste(when they are ripe). It has many medicinal properties, they are astringent in nature...used to treat venereal diseases. The bark is said to be very curative for bowel movement/constipation! The leaves are used in folks remedy for indigestion.
If anyone of you know their culinary use or folks remedy...please don't hesitate to share with me!:)