You have to try this tamarind drink recipe. This delicious drink is so refreshing and it is very easy to make. What better way to have tamarind?
What Is Tamarind
Tamarind is a tropical fruit that resembles bean pods. When the tamarind is young, the outer shell has a greenish colour with a brown overlay, and the fruit inside has a mint green colour.
Young tamarinds are sour but become a little sweeter as the fruit matures and ripes. The outer cell of ripe tamarinds is brown, dry and easily broken. And the fruit inside turns reddish-brown with paste-like pulps, which are easily removed from its black seeds. Ripe tamarind has a sweet-ish sour, tangy, tart taste.
Tamarind grows widely throughout Jamaica, but the fruit is mostly eaten raw and not used a lot in cooking. It’s rarely used to make drinks. The most popular thing Jamaicans use tamarind to make is a sweet we called tamarind balls.
Tamarind drink is not a common drink in Jamaica, but it is in other countries such as Mexico. However, I am one of those Jamaicans who try to cook everything I pick off a tree. So tamarind is no exception. It turned out to be an easy drink to make and it also tasted great.
What Goes In It
Here are the six ingredients you need to make tamarind drink.
- Tamarind: I’m using about 604g (1lb. 53oz) tamarind. That’s about 2 1/2 cups of tamarind pulps when I remove the outer shell. I also remove the seeds from the pulp, but it’s a long and tedious task.
- Ginger: Not a lot of the ginger is needed. Enough to hit there is ginger in the drink.
- Lime: As with the ginger, use just enough lime juice to hit it’s in the drink. Don’t substitute the lime for lemon.
- Angostura bitters: Angostura bitters give the drink a cocktail flavour. Because of the alcohol content in Angostura bitters, you can remove it if you don’t want alcohol in the drink.
- Vanilla: To enhance and deepen the flavour of the drink.
- Honey: H Honey seems to work better in this recipe, at least for me. You can also use sugar, but I prefer the flavour the honey adds – you may too.
How To Make Tamarind Drink
Tamarind drink is so simple to make, and there are various ways to make it. You can make it with bits in it or without bits. In this recipe, I made it so that the drink has bits in it.
- Outer shell: Remove the outer shell to get to the pulp inside. The shells are easily broken with your fingers.
- Tedious Task: I sit and remove all the seeds from the tamarind pulp, which is long and tedious. You can also use the blender on the pulse setting to remove the seeds.
- Soften the pulps: Pour warm water over the tamarind pulp to soften them. If we were blending it as we did in this recipe, this step would be very important in making the drink.
- Pulse or blend it: Add the tamarind pulp, along with the ginger, to a blender. Because I remove the seeds from the pulp, I blend it, which leaves more bits in the drink. Using the pulse setting on your blender will also remove the seeds, so you don’t have to sit and remove them yourself.
- Strain: I used a sieve but believe me, a cheese cloth would be a better choice.
- Sweeten: Add the lime juice, vanilla, Angostura bitters, and sweeten with the honey.
No Blender, No Problem
You don’t have to have a blender to make tamarind drinks. Soaking the tamarind in hot water also works.
Soak the tamarind pulps and grated ginger in boiling water overnight, strain and sweeten.
You will still have the great taste of tamarind. However, the texture of the drink is different when it is made this way.
The drink is not as thick as it would if you blended it. So don’t feel it didn’t turn out right if the drink looks slightly different than the one in my photos.
Storing And Serving
Serving over plenty of ice. Store in the refrigerator and consume within five days of making it.
Tamarind Drink Recipe
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) tamarind pulp
- 0.4 oz (11.34 g) sliced ginger
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 drops angostura bitters
- ½ tbsp lime juice
- honey Sweeten to taste
- 6 cups (1.42 l) litre Water
- Remove the outer shell of the tamarind and place the pulp in a kitchen bowl.
- Boil half the water and pour it over the tamarind pulp in the bowl.
- Add the remaining water and leave to soften for about 5-10 minutes.
- Pour the water, tamarind pulp, and ginger into a blender.
- With the blender on the lowest settings, pulse to separate the seeds from the pulp, which may take a few goes before all the seeds are separated.
- Add the vanilla extract, angostura bitters, and lime juice, and sweeten to taste.
- Put to chill and serve over plenty of ice.
- I remove the seeds before blending. More of the pulp is left in the drink after straining, which I like. But sitting and removing all the seeds from each pulp is a long and tedious task.
- You can also use whatever sweetener you like. Honey adds to the tropical taste.
- If you are using very sour tamarinds, use let the lime juice!
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