Tamarind pulp is used in countless recipes to add a distinctive tanginess to rice, curry, and even cocktail recipes. In chaat recipes, tamarind chutney is a required ingredient because it adds the signature pungency that so many chaats require to achieve their perfect alchemy of flavors. This chutney has a slightly mouth-puckering outcome, similar to what you might experience when tasting an unripe plum. The jaggery, dates, and raisins add sweetness, the ginger gives it brightness, and the chaat masala offers that deep umami flavor that you also find in ingredients like tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms. It might seem fussy to prepare a fresh batch at home, but the vibrant from-scratch flavors easily beat store-bought varieties. The wonders of tamarind fruit, from a leguminous tree that thrives throughout the tropical regions of Africa and Asia, cannot be overstated. It's also integral to traditional Indian medicine, where it's used for everything from treating fever and ulcers to wound healing, lowering blood sugar, losing weight, and reversing fatty liver disease. Industrious Indian homemakers even use it to polish up their copper pans and bowls!