The fruit pulp is edible. The hard green pulp of a young fruit is considered by many to be too sour, but is often used as a component of savory dishes, as a pickling agent or as a means of making certain poisonous yams in Ghana safe for human consumption.
The ripened fruit is considered the more palatable, as it becomes sweeter and less sour (acidic) as it matures. It is used in desserts as a jam, blended into juices or sweetened drinks, sorbets, ice creams and other snacks. In Western cuisine, it is found in Worcestershire sauce. In most parts of India, tamarind extract is used to flavor foods ranging from meals to snacks. Across the Middle East, from the Levant to Iran, tamarind is used in savory dishes, notable meat-based stews, and often combined with dried fruits to achieve a sweet-sour tang