Wednesday, October 19, 2011

RECIPE - Tamarind Juice (Suco de Tamarindo)

photo from Come-se
One of the most refreshing tropical juices there is, a glass of chilled, acid-sweet tamarind juice over ice in a tall glass will revive flagging spirits in the hottest of climes. There's nothing that "hits the spot" when the heat becomes unsupportable like a glass of tamarind juice, and Brazilians by the millions use the juice to keep cool in this tropical country.

Here in Brazil making tamarind juice is a snap, because every supermarket carries small packets of frozen tamarind pulp. The pulp is pure fruit and is unsweetened and without preservatives. To make juice, you just need to pop one or two packets in the blender, add sugar to taste and the amount of water suggested on the packet - blend it for a minute or so and bingo! you've got chilled tamarind juice ready for the glass.

For those who don't have access to these frozen packets, it's still easy to make tamarind juice at home, although it does take a bit more time (including time to cool the juice). In Asian and Latin markets everywhere you can buy packages of partially dehydrated tamarind pulp, usually containing seeds as well. Here's a picture of a typical package:

The way to use this pulp is to put as much as you need in a mixing bowl, boil some water, and the pour just enough water over the pulp to cover it. Let the bowl stand for a minimum of thirty minutes. Using another bowl with a sieve over over it, pour the contents of the first bowl into the sieve. Let drain, then using a wooden spoon, press the pulp to extract as much juice as possible. Continue to press until you have only seeds left in the sieve.

Let the sieved pulp cool, then add as much water as desired to reach juice consistency. Sweeten to taste and chill well in the refrigerator.

2 comments:

  1. I love the frozen pulp packets - so handy, I always have a few sitting in the freezer. I don't know why I've avoided tamarind for so long but I will definitely pick some up on my next trip to the supermarket.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've always got some packets stuffed away in the freezer too. Packaged juice from the supermarket always has so much added sugar I can't drink it, so these are a lifesaver. And they're great for making blender cocktails too!
    JAMES

    ReplyDelete