How to Make Tamarind Juice (Agua de Tamarindo)

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Refreshing, sweet and acidic tamarind juice or agua de tamarindo. It’s an easy drink with a ton of health benefits (if you don’t add sugar or you swap it for stevia)

What is tamarind?

Tamarind is a type of tree that produces a pod type of fruit. This fruit has big seeds covered in an acid pulp.

Most people in the US know tamarind as an acid ingredient for Asian sauces (especially Thai and Indian). But in Venezuela, we usually use it for juices and desserts.

In case you wonder if it is possible to eat tamarind raw: yes. In Venezuela, we eat tamarind pulp with a ton of sugar — not the healthiest addition — as a dessert. It is called “dulce de tamarindo”.

It’s pretty easy to find tamarind in some countries in Latin America (Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela, etc). This is because the tamarind tree grows well in subtropical weather.

Tamarind is originally from Africa, then it was introduced to Asia — where it gains popularity. Finally, it came to Centro America thanks to Spanish travelers.

How to make tamarind juice from scratch?

In case you are using tamarind pods, you will have to make a few steps to get the pulp that we’ll use for the juice.

First, you need to peel the tamarind pods. It’s common that the hard peel will break into tiny pieces that stick to the pulp. Gently, rinse the pods to remove all the peel.

Then remove the hard strings that cover the pulp. You can see in the pictures how a peeled tamarind pod should look like.

Now, boil 500 ml of water (2 ½ cups) and add the tamarind pods. Cook for 15 minutes until the pulp is soft and it starts dissolving in the water. Let it cool completely.

With your hand, separate the seeds from the pulp. The pulp must be soft enough, so this should be an easy process.

In this stage, I blend the pulp and then I strain it to remove excess fiber. I want a smooth paste (like in the pictures).

Then it’s just adding the rest of the water, sugar (optional), and ice. 

What if you want to use tamarind pulp?

Usually, it’s easier to find and work with tamarind pulp. They usually sell the pulp in hard blocks.

This way is more convenient because you don’t have to peel and remove the seeds from the tamarind pods.

For 1,5 liter of water, I would use a block of 150 gr (around 5 oz). That would be almost 1 cup of pulp.

Soak the block into 250 ml of water (1 cup). Let it absorb the water for 5 minutes and with your hand dissolve the block to create a paste.

Now, you can make tamarind juice with the rest of the water and your favorite sweetener.

This method is faster and if you buy a good-quality tamarind pulp, the result is just the same.

What sweetener can you use?

Sugar is the most common option, but definitely not the healthiest. This part is mostly about personal preferences.

You can even drink the tamarind juice without any sweetener. This way you enjoy a healthy and refreshing drink.

What are the benefits of tamarind juice?

Here are the basic benefits of drinking tamarind juice on a daily basis:

  • High in antioxidants
  • Vitamin dense: B2, B1, B3, C, and K. 
  • Potassium and Magnesium source. 
  • Help lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol

If you want to know more about these benefits, you can check this article

Tamarind Juice
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Refreshing, sweet and acidic tamarind juice or agua de tamarindo. It’s an easy drink with a ton of health benefits
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Indian, Venezuelan
Keyword: agua de tamarindo, tamarind juice
Servings: 8 glasses
Ingredients
  • 25 tamarind pods (5 oz tamarind pulp)
  • 1,5 liters of water (6 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (optional)
  • Ice (optional)
Instructions
With the tamarind pods
  1. Peel the tamarind pods and remove the veins.
  2. Boil 500 ml of water (2 ½ cups) and add the tamarind pods. Cook for 15 minutes until the pulp is soft and it starts dissolving in the water. Let it cool completely.
  3. With your hand, separate the seeds from the pulp. The pulp must be soft enough, so this should be an easy process.
  4. Blend the pulp and then strain it to remove excess fiber.
With the pulp
  1. Soak the 5 oz tamarind block into 250 ml of water (1 cup). Let it absorb the water for 5 minutes and with your hand dissolve the block to create a paste.
Tamarind juice.
  1. In a jar mix the rest of the water with the tamarind pulp.
  2. Optionally add ice and sugar (or any sweetener)

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