Up your Taco Tuesday game with Agua de Tamarindo, or Tamarind Water. I’m sure you’ve seen it at Mexican restaurants. It’s brown and murky. It looks a bit like muddy water puddles after a good rain pour. The good news is that it doesn’t taste like mud. It’s actually delicious! Tangy and sweet, making it the perfect pairing for any Mexican food dishes. Here’s step by step how to make this refreshing drink.
This will be the “Show Maggie’s Hands” post. Making Agua de Tamarindo, or Tamarind Water, involves a lot of hand work – a lot more than hand modeling. You start by peeling the tamarind from the shell. The tamarind shell is like a peanut shell. It snaps, but the fleshy part inside is sticky. So, some of the shell will stick to the flesh. Try to take off as much as you can. If some stays, no problemo. We’re going to strain everything later.
Boil them for 5-8 minutes. They won’t mind. Then let them soak until the water is cooled. Warning: It will look like mush, but that’s exactly what you want.
Wash your hands and start squeezing. Separate the membranes and the seeds from the mushy flesh. This is great for the kiddos. Grab a few children, or borrow one from the over-worked mother next door. They’ll love working with this mess. It’s got that mushy kind of satisfaction that kids just love – like Play-Doh or making mud pies.
Now strain it. Using a spoon, push down on the mushy tamarind. You might need to do this a few times to get all of the juice. Once you’ve gotten all of the tamarind juice out, discard the rest. And blend everything together. However, if you’re not going to use it all at once because there’s only so much Agua de Tamarindo, or Tamarind Water, you can drink, strain it once and save the rest for another day. It will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warning: Please inform your family members that the container with something looking like mud is something NOT to be thrown out!
Last but not least, add more water to the container and lots of sugar (Stevia, if you’re looking for a low sugar drink)… and your Agua de Tamarindo, or Tamarind Water, is ready for your next Mexican fiesta. Enjoy!
- 15 pieces of tamarind
- 12 cups of water (divided)
- 1 cup of sugar (or, to taste)
- Peel the tamarind.
- Add the peeled tamarind and 3 cups of water to a large pot.
- Boil for 5-8 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let cool.
- Once cooled, using clean hands, squeeze the mushy pods to separate the flesh and the seeds.
- Strain the tamarind juice from the seeds and flesh.
- Use a spoon to push against the strainer to extract as much of the tamarind juice from the flesh and the seeds as possible.
- Add the strained tamarind juice to a blender.
- Blend the juice for 1 minute.
- Add the remaining water to a large pitcher, the blended juice, and sugar to taste.
- Serve over ice.