Long, flat, green pods filled with seeds about the size of a small lima bean and used in Latin American cooking. The pod and seeds have a garlicky quality, and fresh pods are often chopped up and used to flavor various dishes. When the pods dry and turn brown, the seeds are scraped out and can be eaten raw or added to salads or cooked dishes. Roasting the seeds lends a nutty quality, which makes them delicious as a snack. They're also often ground and used as a thickening for cooked sauces. Fresh or dried guaje (also spelled cuaje and huaje) can be purchased at Latin American markets. In Southeast Asia, guaje pods are known as wild tamarind.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.