So how many of you are familiar with the tamarind fruit? At first glance, the tamarind looks like a brown green bean pod. The ripe tamarind is very very sour with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It is very high in vitamin C and has been known for its medicinal properties (said to be good for the digestive system). In Mexico, it is commonly sold in candy form as well as in drinks. Living in Los Angeles where there the Mexican community is widespread, it was only a matter of time before we discovered this interesting fruit…and we sure did!
About a week ago, a very sweet lady named Maria insisted on giving H some tamarind that she herself grew in her backyard. With a twinkle in her eye, she told H how she always made tamarind juice and how delicious it was. Hmmm, needless to say, we were intrigued!
This weekend, we decided to try our hand at making this drink. With a mental note of all the pointers that Maria gave H, we took a deep breath, and dove into the unknown world of the tamarind!
Boy, are we glad we did!!!!
What You Need:
- 5-10 tamarinds (we used about 7); You can adjust this amount depending on how sour/thick you want it. You can usually find tamarinds at Mexican supermarkets
- 1/2-3/4 cup sugar
- Boiled water
- Ice cubes
What to Do:
First, get your tamarind pods, and crack them open.
When you open the shell, you will notice that the fruit is wrapped in veins. Peel the veins off so that you are left with only the fruit.
You will end up with a bowl full of this:
Next, pour about 1.5-2 cups of the hot boiled water into the bowl. Now, some recipes call for using just regular water and soaking it in the tamarind for 4-5 hours….however, you know us, anything that will save us time, we will go ahead and take it.
Cover the bowl and wait for about an hour. After an hour, go and squish/break apart the tamarinds. You will notice that the fruit will break and mix into the water very easily. The round flat seeds inside the tamarinds will be left.
Next, grab a strainer, and strain the juices into a pitcher.
After you have strained the juice, boil some more water. Add the sugar into a bowl and add about 3-4 cups of the boiled water. Sugar is much easier to dissolve if the water is boiled, hence the boiled water. After that, add in the sugar water into pitcher.
Put the pitcher into the fridge and let cool. Once the juice is ready, put a couple ice cubes into a cup, pour in the juice, and enjoy!!!!