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 tamarind...you 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
ingredients:
  • 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 brittle...you 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 want...in 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.
Did I mention at this wonderful Mexican restaurant is also a bakery?
We just can't seem to escape leave without taking a few of these goodies home with us...and we are not the only ones.
They always have something different each time we go. Some are filled with guava, pineapple, or some custard-like filling...always a surprise and always good!
I have been seeing so many osprey around lately. I counted 14 as we were crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge a couple of weeks ago. We were driving across so I could really zoom in to get a photo at that time. In February when my parents were in town we saw so many nests along the ICW and I just didn't have the zoom at that time to get a good picture...
So Sunday as we were in the boat on Sarasota bay and I was finally able to snap a few shots. It wasn't easy with the moving rocking boat, but I was able to get some of this posing osprey. He never did leave his post, just showed us his wings a couple of times, and watched us as we floated by. Some of you might of already seen this on facebook or on The Tiny Bento! I just had to share!

27 comments:

  1. The osprey is beautiful.

    I would love to try this Tamarind Water but the chances of finding tamarind here I would think is extremely small :( Diane

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    1. I always seem to do this to you don't I Diane?! Sorry, but I'll be sure to make it for you when you come to visit me! :D

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  2. Hi Lyndsey, I love tamarind sooo much that I`m now drooling over your tamarind pictures :DD Tamarind drink is really good to quench our thirsts in this summer heat!
    In South East Asian cooking, tamarind is often used in cooking soup (Thai`s Tom Yum will be a very good example) for its refreshing tartness. We also use the tamarind with chili and brown/palm sugar and dilute it a bit with water to make sweet dip or glaze for fruits and eat them like fruit salad called Rojak/Rujak in Indonesian/Malaysian languages.
    Thanks for sharing your agua de tamarindo, Lyndsey! I`m going to make it very soon!

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    1. Arudhi, I've heard of Tom Yum and I knew it was sweet sour, now I know what gives it that tart taste. I will have to try it sometime. The glaze sounds good too.

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  3. I can easily find tamarind here but never have idea to make into drink. I must find one day to try out this drink.

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    1. So funny I've been drinking tamarind fresca before I was using it in cooking.

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  4. Lindsey, your photo is almost the same replica pool background as my 'former house' where my ex hubby is living...the screened patio (which is almost 'extinct' now!
    A must have, in the seventies and eighties, and very, expensive even then!

    I've never tried tamarind water, and have no clue of what it tastes like, although I can imagine how good and healthy it is!
    Those Mexican pastry treats look so yummy...every Hispanic culture has their own amazing pastries. We have Cuban, and lots of Mexican specialty bakeries, here as well, on our S. Florida places...not to mention the most amazing 'mom n'pop' Mexican restaurants; and very affordable too!
    Love your photos:D

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    1. Yes we have a mid century home, built in 1960...old Florida cement block home. We love it though, lots of old Live Oak trees in our side yard...you just can't buy old oak trees. We do like our screened in pool...it held up better in the storms than the new ones they have out now.

      You should be able to pick up a small can or tamarind nectar in the grocery store. I drink Jimenez brand and pour it over a tall glass of ice. It has a sweet tart tast, i've always liked it. I have served a pitcher of it at book club...the ice will water it down a little.

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  5. I love tamarind but in my cooking :D We use a lot back home. It gives that nice sourish taste, really good with seafood. So far I have not tried to make drink with it. Must try one day. Those pastries look very special and mouth-watering. I think I need food now :D

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    1. Yes, you should try it as a drink sometime. I like it...my daughter ended up drinking the rest of the pitcher of it, so I guess she really likes it too.

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  6. I like using tamarind in my Asian style cooking but never drink the water on its own. This is interesting :D

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    1. If you like a sweet/tart taste you will like it.

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  7. we have tamarind paste selling here, just like in the form that you show here after soaking. I only tried that in cooking, never in drinks. Thanks for the idea. There's no mexican bakery at my place but able to get 'made in malaysia' mexico buns at the local bakery, i like them very much. awww, that bird is definatley showing off his wings!

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    1. Hey, I guess the bird has "frozen wings" in that photo! hehe! So funny, I have enjoyed tamatind in drinks before I started using it in cooking! :D

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  8. Would you believe I've never tasted tamarind? Really must make this drink!

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    1. You should try it, and let me know! :D

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  9. Tamarind seems to be such an elusive ingredient around here. I'm certain I could never find the pods, but I'm going to have to scour the shelves looking for some paste. I bet it makes a refreshing drink!

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    1. I guess it would be found in Indian, Asian, or Mexican stores. We are lucky to find it in our local grocery store...even Walmart.

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  10. Tamarind drink... that's interesting. I only use tamarind in cooking but never dreamt that it can be made into a drink. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I do like it as a drink, even mixed with rum! But mostly enjoyed like iced tea!

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  11. Hi sweetie, gosh those mexican breads look truly inviting. La Conchas...what about the 2nd & 3rd one? Salivating already. haha... I've once seen this kind of eagle deep in the jungle. The bird is as wide as my 4 wheel drive after spreading out its wings. Yes, huge!
    However, hope you're going to have a great weekend. ((hugs))
    Blessings
    Kristy

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    1. Hey Kristy...I miss you! So nice of you to stop by, I know how busy you are. I also know you've made la conchas that look just as good as a bakery's.

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  12. c'est bien réussi et joliment présenté, bravo
    bonne journée

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  13. I have seen tamarind in my Asian market before but I didn't know what to do with it. Only tamarind I use is in paste form, and also I love tamarind candy from Vietnamese or Thai restaurant. I never had a drink made of tamarind - this must be very special and I'd love to have this drink!

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  14. It's rare that I find fresh tamarind pods around here but I hope I do so I can give these a whirl!

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  15. Love the photos! You have to fill me in on the Mexican restaurant!!

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