Summer Tamarind Drink: Agua de Tamarindo
If you’ve not tried this I really urge you to take a sip. It’s somewhat tart but but you’ll find it is also wonderfully complex, not at all like a sugary obviously-flavored soft drink.
It is one of the standard Mexican aguas frescas and, again, shows how food pathways impact our civilization and culture. Meeting new peoples does enrich our food.
Tamarind is African, found in the tropical areas of the continent from where it migrated to Arabia. It arrived in our region in the 1500’s with the Spaniards whose food and culture had already been influenced by the Arabs who occupied Spain for 800 years. It has become an integral part of our culture now and we use it for candies and sweets and beverages. I’ve also made a salad dressing with it!
Do try this recipe and keep a pitcher full in your fridge. Oh, it has diuretic properties when consumed in large enough quantities.
Recipe: (makes 2 quarts)
4 oz. unpeeled Tamarind pods (when peeled they will fill 3/4 cup)
2/3 cup light Agave Nectar OR 3/4 cup sugar
2 quarts water
1. Peel and remove the strings from the Tamarinds and rinse them.
2. Bring the water to a boil, add the tamarind and boil for 15 minutes.
3. When the water cools down and you can handle the tamarind, squeeze out all of the seeds and discard them.
4. Working in batches, pour the Tamarinds and the water into a blender and blend until smooth. Add the agave nectar or sugar. The foam will subside.
Serve very well chilled over plenty of ice.
Almost forgot. A recipe for my cocktail, “Tamarindo con Tequila,” follows in a subsequent blog.