Fruits – Velvet Tamarind Seed

I tried for the first time this uncommon fruit called Gal Siyambala which means Pebble Tamarind or Sri Lankan Velvet Tamarind Seed. There is another variety of tamarind seed called Gaduguda (light olive green) that I haven’t tried it yet.

Velvet tamarind is so common in the season that you don't need to leave the car to buy them
Velvet tamarind by the roadside.

Gal Siyambala seen once a year between August and Novemenr and it’s considered to be as a fast food, nibble on the run. When the season starts you can see this fruit on the street markets in cities, towns and in stalls by the roadside.

The velvety shell of the seed is brittle and cracks quite easy between the fingers revealing powdery palp. It has an acidic taste which is similar to Tamarind but it is sweeter, drier and more powdery. For me the taste was highly addictive.

According to Dr. Nirmala M. Pieris, it comes with quite a number of health benefits since it consists of fibre and is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin and niacin. 

Benefits of Eating Velvet Tamarind Seed:

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Prevents constipation and is a good diuretic
  • Boosts immune system
  • Maintains good metabolism
  • Regulates cell functions
  • Nourishes skin
  • Fights harmful micro-organisms

I will also highlight that it may help in relieving toothaches and improve oral hygiene. And not only that, some people in Sri Lanka and temple caretakers use the fruit pulp to polish utensils, shrines statues and oil lamps.

You can find the benefits of eating King Coconut here.



Scientific Name

Dialium Guineense


About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Inga K</a>

Inga K

Inga became vegan in March 2018. After a series of documentaries that hit hard, she and her husband switched to a plant-based diet within a week and vegan soon after.Inga has a UK Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Diet and Nutrition. is a blog for anyone who strives for a healthy and happy life. We share 100% plant-based (and often healthy and oil-free) recipes and give you the best tips on finding vegan local food whilst travelling and living a plant-based lifestyle focusing on good health and spiritual wellbeing.

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