Foodie Blogroll

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Agua de Tamarindo (Tamarind Water)

It is that time of year to make some more frescas...of course in Florida we do enjoy this year round.It is so easy around here to just pick up a bottle of tamarind fresca, or sometimes called tamarind nectar, and even tamarind pulp in the freezer section of the grocery store, but I like to try to make my own. Mostly because I can control the amount of sugar used and the type of sweetener used.

After we have discovered an authentic local Mexican Bakery and restaurant we have been frequent visitors. connected right next to it they have a Mexican grocery store where I found large bins of dried chili peppers, jamaica flowers, and should of seen the look smile on my face. I can actually buy it in bulk as little or as much as I want and for a very reasonable price!!

Tamarind is sweet-tart in flavor and is a good source of fiber, minerals, vitamin C and a powerful antioxidant. So it's good for you!

Agua de Tamarindo
  • 14 tamarind pods (about 1 pound)
  • 32 oz - water(1 quart)
  • 3/4 cups sugar, or to taste I used piloncillo
Method: Peel the tamarind pods, removing as much of the strings that run along the sides as you can, but don't worry if you can't remove them all. You don't have to remove the seeds at this point. Bring half the water to a boil and add sugar and the peeled tamarind pods, stir as it boils for about a minute and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let it set for an hour or two.  Strain this mixture into a pitcher and add the remaining water. Mix well and chill before serving.
Be sure to check for the strength and sweetness, and adjust to your liking. 
The pods vary a little in size...
The outside skin is dry pretty can see some of the strings in the skins here.
This one is all in tact...
Ha! look at this one...hmmm...what can I make with this! The inside is pretty tacky, sticky almost like a date. Tamarind is also called Indian date.
...looks good huh? It is so funny how soft it gets after soaking. Some will remove the seeds and put the pulp in a blender and use that for the Tamarind water. I just pushed as much as I could through the sieve with a rubber spatula.
It is almost like a concentrate at this point. You can add as much water as you like. I like the tart tang of tamarind, but then I like key limes too. If you want, before you add the extra water you can freeze it and use it when you marinades, drinks, BBQ sauce, or sorbet...
I like it over ice...and maybe a little rum added to it :)
Although this was interesting to do and I like that I can make it less sweet...I might just stick to the store bought...but the agua de jamaica I like better homemade.