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Tamarind Mui

Tamar Luke Pane‘e, KS ’53 - from my mom, Tamar Luke

Oldies but Goodies, Vol I. Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association,
Nā Pua Maeʻole o Kamehameha Chapter. 1983.


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.

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

Pauahi and her Tamarind Tree

A tamarind tree was planted with the sacred ‘iewe (afterbirth) of our beloved ali‘i, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, on the day she was born. It was a Hawaiian custom to bury the ‘iewe, preferably under a tree or in a hole cut in its trunk [1]. Under her tamarind tree, Pauahi would sit for hours listening to her people, many of them traveling from the country side to meet 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
2 Krout, Mary Hannah. The Memoirs of Hon. Bernice Pauahi Bishop


photo credit: Kristy Perez-Kaiwi


Pauahis tamarind tree

photo credit: Kristy Perez-Kaiwi

The ‘ōmuku, or stump, of Pauahi’s tamarind tree located in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Memorial Chapel at KS Kapālama.

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