The tamarind is an evergreen tree found throughout the world's tropical regions. Tasting nothing at all like it looks, the tamarind fruit is a long, brown, dry seed pod containing a sour-tasting pulp. It is most commonly found in Indian chutneys but it is also used in dishes from Africa, Asia, and Mexico as well. Tamarind cooler is a refreshing drink commonly found in Mexico and tropical Asia made by combining the seed pods with water and sugar. It is said to lower the body temperature making it an ideal summertime drink. Add lime wedges or a sprig of mint to the glass as a nice garnish to this unusual and cooling drink.
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12 ounces tamarind from a block
6 to 8 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
lime wedges or mint leaves for garnish

Cooking Instructions

Bring the tamarind, 4 cups of the water, and the sugar to a simmer in a saucepan, stirring frequently until sugar and tamarind are slowly dissolved into the water. Let stand for about 2 hours at room temperature to infuse the flavors. Pour the infusion through a sieve into a glass pitcher, pressing the pulp through the sieve. Discard the seeds and leftover fibrous pulp. Add 2 cups more water and stir to mix. Take a taste and add more water if it is too strong or thick or more sugar if you like it sweeter. Refrigerate until cool. Serve over ice in glasses garnished with lime wedges or mint leaves.

Makes about 8 drinks



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elliemay's blog

Tamarind is available as a pressed fibrous slab, a jam like concentrate in a jar, and in dried pod form (you will usually only find pods in Indian or Asian markets). It is the fibrous slab or block that is used in this recipe.

Try this variation for a change of pace: Make a concentrated version of the drink mixture by using only 2 cups of water. To serve, divide the concentrate evenly among 8 glasses and fill the rest of the glass with tonic water or club soda.

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