Have you ever tried tamarind juice? It’s tangy and full of unique flavor. Its taste is similar to tamarind chutney… but sweeter and refreshing. Here’s how to make the juice.
What is Tamarind?
Tamarind is part of the legume family so it is related to the likes of soybeans, peas, chickpeas, peanuts and alfalfa. But, unlike those plants, tamarind trees are huge! There was one at my school and we loved hanging out under it. I have such good memories there.
Tamarind trees bear long brown pods. Inside those pods, you’ll find relatively large seeds surrounded by thin, tangy flesh. That flesh holds all the flavor, and then some.
Making the Juice
This tamarind juice recipe is simple to make.
You really only need four ingredients: tamarind, star anise, hot water and your favorite sweetener.
I used four tamarind pods to get a mild tamarind flavor. I prefer my juice mild and not too tangy. The stronger the flavor, the more sugar you will need; so I only use a little.
If you can’t get your hands on tamarind pods, you should find tamarind flesh for sale in any supermarket or Asian specialty stores. Or try Amazon for pods or flesh:
Stock up too. Tamarind will last for years in the fridge.
Back to the juice.
You can add other flavorings to your tamarind juice like ginger, lemon, aromatic bitters and vanilla essence. I love star anise too. Its amazing licorice taste is one of my absolute favorites! It’s the star (pun intended!) in my sorrel drink recipe too.
For this tamarind juice, a little star anise goes a long way.
Soak the tamarind flesh in hot water to draw its flavor into the water. The longer you soak it, the more flavor will be released.
Then, add your favorite sweetener. Trust me, you’ll need it to cut that tangy-ness!
I use sugarcane juice cubes sometimes or regular brown sugar. That’s it!
How to Make Tamarind Juice
- 1/4 cup tamarind flesh with seeds
- 2 cups hot water
- star anise (small piece)
- sweetener of your choice
- Shell tamarind and pull apart the seeds.
- Add to hot water and stir.
- Add star anise and any other flavoring of your choice (like ginger, lemon, etc).
- Let soak for 15-30 minutes, then stir.
- Repeat step #4 for at least two hours.
- Strain the juice and sweeten.
- Serve cold.
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Benefits of Tamarind
According to the USDA Food Database, tamarind is a very good source of minerals and, to a lesser extent, vitamins. It shows 100 grams of raw tamarind can provide 37% your daily requirement for Vitamin B1; 43% copper; 22% iron; and 26% magnesium.
The fruit also has low levels of calcium too!
A 2006 study also found tamarind flesh reduced total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in human participants. And it also significantly reduced their diastolic pressure.
Tamarind juice is pretty awesome!
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