Feb 29, 2008, 2:58 PM
Post #2 of 4
A couple of things, jaybear: tamarind is not a nut, and agua fresca de tamarindo isn't made of tamarind seeds! Tamarind is a fleshy, fibrous pod covered with a hard, brown shell. The pods are six to eight inches long, the seeds are big and dark brown, and you can find the pods at any tianguis or grocery store. Tamarindo looks like this:
I'm certain you've seen the pods!
On to the recipe:
- 1 pound of tamarindo, taken out of the shell but WITH the seeds
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
In a large pot, mix the tamarindo and the water. Separate the fibers and flesh from the seeds, leaving the seeds as clean as possible.
Bring the water and tamarindo, including seeds, to a boil. Take the pot off the fire and strain the mix through a colander. Add the sugar, mix, and serve cold.
As you guessed, it's full of sugar. The acidity of the tamarindo flesh requires a lot of sugar to make it drinkable.
Tamarindo is also popular as a candy. The candy vendors at your local tianguis usually sell it. Ask for a taste. It's one of my favorite Mexican candies.
If something more adult is what you want, next time you're out to dine at your favorite upscale restaurant, ask for a martini de tamarindo. The flavor is marvelous and the glass is rimmed with salt and chile!