Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Agua de Tamarindo (Tamarind Drink)

I don't know if "Tamarind" is common in other cultures. Tamarind is like a fruit pod that is long, it grows on trees, it is sort of sour. Mexicans and some other Hispanics/Latinos like to make Candies out of it or a simple drink called "Agua de Tamarindo" other cultures use it differently like Thai people use it to in dishes in combination with a sweetener to make a "sweet and sour flavor" and some Filipinos make Tamarind based soups I think it's called "Sinigang" but I'm not sure.

I learned how to make this today thanks to my mother who always makes beverages we almost never buy juices and drinks from the store my mom always makes drinks and has them in the fridge and she teaches me how to make them to (She makes fruit drinks from Melon, Papaya, Cantaloupe, Guava, Guanabana, Coconut whatever fruit is in season and when we make more hard to get fruit drinks it's usually from the frozen pulp sold by GOYA, she also like to make herbal teas and chill them usually from fresh Mint, Hibiscus flowers, Basil and Lemongrass)

Well today I will show you how to make this Tamarind based drink that is simple. Think of it as a different version of lemonade or lime aid because it is tangy kinda sour yet sweet.

-10-12 Whole tamarind pods (pods and all when buying tamarind make sure it's not hollow, the pulp has to be touching the shell and you should kind of feel it, it should be firm, and if possible it shouldn't be peeled)
-White Sugar to taste (you will need at least 1 cup then add more to taste)

(1)Soak tamarind pods in a medium container with water for 5 minutes until shells are softer than before then remove outside of pod and just leave the pulp and seeds, drain, now add clean water and soak at least 3 hours (I suggest soaking it over night)

(2)Add 1 cup of sugar to the container with the pods the next day or after 3 hours, rub and grind against each other for a bit to loosen it the sugar will help you loosen it.
(3)Have a container with lots of clean water on around or a pot with clean water.Now put it on a strainer and press and swish around roughly straining it through, adding water little by little to get all the pulp and flavor through, kind of like cleaning it. You want to do this over a large container or the pitcher using clean water.
(4)Now you should add it to the pitcher (if it's not already in there and keep adding water a little at a time until those seeds and tough parts are clean and you removed as much pulp as possible.
(5)Now add more sugar to taste stir well, add ice cubes if you want it colder. Chill in fridge. Until ready to serve