Friday, May 2, 2014

Tamarind Agua Fresca

Agua Frescas are very refreshing and very delicious. Today, I decided to make some agua fresca using fresh tamarind pods. This agua fresca is a little more labor intensive than  some of the other the fruit ones I have made.    You use fresh tamarind pods that you boil.

Fresh Tamarind Pods

After you boil the pods you have to remove the pulp from the pods.  This is kinda of messy and somewhat time consuming.  A  fun job for kids if you want to enlist their help.

Boiling Tamarind Pods
Pulp (front) Seeds (left) Pods and Fibers (right)

I found this recipe on the Saveur website.  I kept the ingredients the same, but I modified the directions. Instead of of removing the pulp from the pods right after I boiled them, I let them sit for about 2 hours.   Letting the pods steep for a while made the liquid a little richer and the pods cooled.  I couldn't imagine removing the pulp of hot pods.  The next modification I made was adding sugar to a quart of boiling water and making a simple syrup.  Being that I let the pods cool a bit the syrup was cooling at the same time.

After you have removed the pulp of the tamarind pods you process them in a blender with 2 cups of the tamarind liquid.  Strain the puree and add to the tamarind water.  Add your simple syrup and stir.   Pour the drink over some ice and you have a delicious sweet drink that is slightly tart.  Perfect for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations or whenever you need something cool and refreshing to drink.

Tamarind Agua Fresca
Adapted from Saveur


1 pound fresh tamarind pods
3 quarts water
1 cup sugar


1. Rinse tamarind pods.  Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a medium pot; add pods.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until just tender and the water is brown, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove the pan from the heat, uncover  and  let the pods steep for about 2 hours.
3. Boil the remaining 1 quart of water in a small saucepan.  Stir in 1 cup of sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Let the syrup cool.
4. Remove the pods from the water.  Strain the water through a fine sieve into a 3-quart pitcher.   Remove and discard skin from each pod.  Using your hands, place as much pulp as possible from the softened fruit in a blender, discarding the seeds and fibers.  Add 2 cups of the strained tamarind liquid to blender; puree until smooth.
5. Strain puree through a sieve into a pitcher.  Add the syrup to the pitcher.  Stir well.  Serve over ice.

Makes 3 quarts

1 comment:

  1. Hi Geraldine!
    I've never had or used tamarind before. Curious about it now after seeing this procedure and that drink! Thanks for sharing, Geraldine...