Tamarind Mui

Oldies But Goodies. Vol. I. Nā Pua Mae‘ole o Kamehameha Chapter. P. 237.

Tamar Luke Panee ’53; from my Mom, Tamar Luke


Photo by Kristy Perez-Kaiwi

2 pounds shelled tamarind, light brown
Dry in a screened box in the sun for 1 day turning once, or use the more matured fruit and don’t need to dry in the sun.
1 pound raw brown sugar
 Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon thick Chinese soy molasses
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spices
1/2 teaspoon Chinese powdered licorice
1/4 cup shoyu

Melt sugar slowly in a heavy pot
Add rest of ingredients
Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute
Remove from heat and add tamarind
Mix well
Bottle and leave in the sun for several days

*Too much cooking will make the mui mushy and meatless.  Use the lighter brown shell tamarinds.

Short Mo‘olelo:

Photo by Kristy Perez-Kaiwi

A tamarind tree was planted with the sacred ‘iēwe (afterbirth) of our beloved Ali‘i, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, on the day she was born.  It was a Hawaiian custom to bury the ‘iēwe, preferably under a tree or in a hole cut in its trunk [1].   Under this tamarind tree she would sit for hours listening to her people, many of them from the country side to advise with her [2].   Her aloha, grace, and servitude is forever remembered and embedded in our hearts.

1) Kanahele, George Hu‘eu Sanford.  Pauahi: The Kamehameha Legacy.  Kamehameha Schools Press: Honolulu, 2002.  P. 11.

2) Krout, Mary Hannah.  The Memoirs of Hon. Bernice Pauahi Bishop.  Knickerbocker Press: New York, 1908.  P. 105.