How To Recipe: Agua de Tamarindo (Tamarind Drink)
Posted: Apr 22 2014Tamarind drink i.e. "Agua de Tamarindo" is delicious! Tamarind itself looks like a long fruit pod. It grows on trees, and it is a bit of sour. Many Hispanics/Latinos like to make tamarind candies or also make a simple drink called "Agua de Tamarindo" (Tamarind Drink). You'll typically spot Tamarind Drink at latin food restaurants and it's a very common "go-to" drink in Latin America. Some other cultures use tamarind in slightly different ways such as the Thai, who often use it in dishes in combination with a sweetener to make a "sweet and sour flavor". The Filipino culture often makes soups which are tamarind based. I believe the soups are called "Sinigang".
I learned how to make Agua de Tamarindo thanks to my mother who always makes beverages at home.
We almost most never buy juices and drinks from the store. So from my mom I’ve learned how to make all kinds of drinks which are usually seasonal: such as melon, papaya, cantaloupe, guava, guanabana, coconut or whatever fruit is in season. When the fruit is not in season we buy frozen pulp which may be sold by brands such as GOYA. My mom also likes to make herbal teas and chill - these are usually from fresh mint, hibiscus flowers, basil and lemongrass.
Today I’m going to be showing you how to make this Tamarind based drink. It’s a great recipe! Think of it as a different version of lemonade or lime aid because it’s tangy yet kinda sour yet sweet. You can buy fresh tamarind at many grocery stores in the fruit/vegetable section.
-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 feel the pulp, it should be firm, and if possible it shouldn't be peeled)
-White sugar to taste (you will need at least 1 cup of sugar and add more to taste)
(1) Soak the tamarind pods in a medium container with water for 5 minutes until shells are softer than before. Remove the outside of the pod and just leave the pulp and seeds. Then drain the water used. Next add clean water and soak the pods at least 3 hours (I suggest soaking th overnight)
(2) Add 1 cup of sugar to the container with the pulp and seeds the next day (or after 3 hours). Rub and grind the pulp and seeds against each other for a bit to loosen. The sugar will help you loosen it.
(3) Have a container or pot ready with lots of clean water. Then put the pulp/seed mash on a strainer and press and swish around roughly straining the mixture through. Add the clean water little by little to get all the pulp and flavor through, kind of like cleaning the pulp/seed mixture. You want to do this over a large container/pot or the pitcher using clean water. (The seeds will remain.)
(4) Now you should add the pulp mixture to the pitcher. (if it's not already in there - 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) Lastly add more sugar to taste and stir well. Add ice cubes if you want the beverage colder. Chill in fridge until ready to serve!