Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Indian Spiced Tamarind Cooler for My Legume Love Affair 28

Indian Spiced Tamarind Cooler

This post was supposed to be all about candy, tamarind candy: those little earthy, sweet, and tangy Thai nuggets rolled in coarse sugar, bursting with bite, their gummy texture clinging to your teeth, their smoldering undercurrent of spice clinging to your tongue. It was supposed to be a snappy exotic departure from all the squash that is lined up in my kitchen for an assortment of cakes, custards, cookies, soups, and the pies that I swore I would resist baking. So I stirred up a pot of tamarind syrup that bubbled (quite appropriately for Halloween) into the foulest black pit of tar ever to spit up at the witches of Macbeth. Such is the magic of candy making.

The slag heap cooled off more quickly than I did; hovering over a hiss of hot sugar for twenty minutes will sweat out every toxin you've ingested for a month. You will be cleansed, but exhausted, and you will want to reach for that chilled high-fructose can of soda, as dewy and dripping as your cheeks. But don't let that extra tamarind go to waste. As simple as preparing chai, you can pour yourself an icy drink as earthy, sweet, and tangy as those Thai hot rocks. If you can't stand the heat, go ahead and get out of the kitchen for a while.
Indian Spiced Tamarind Cooler - From a gorgeous recipe in my print copy of Silk Road Cooking - A Vegetarian Journey
I prepared this recipe without adaptation. It is not available online which prevents me from linking to it. I am also prohibited by copyright to reproduce it here without permission. What I can tell you is that I boiled 1 part tamarind pulp to 4 parts water, then strained the liquid before adding minimal sugar and pinches of powdered ginger, fennel, green cardamom, cumin, and cloves. I've also garnished each glass as instructed with a lime slice and mint sprig. For those who prefer an actual recipe to follow, I have found another stunner: Tamarind Ginger Fizz by Wanderash via the food52 site. This version has a fire ring of chili salt tracing the rim of the glass.

Tamarind Pod

This beverage is for Divya of Dil Se who is wrapping up MLLA 28; her round-up with be online later this week.

Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen is manning the fort for this month's MLLA 29. Do be on lookout for her announcement coming in next day or two. I will have a link in my sidebar as soon as it goes online.


Been There, Done That ~

Peach Oolong Almond Milk Bubble Tea
Japanese Cherry Blossom Tea
Iced Darjeeling Chai Tea

Other People's Eats ~


  1. This drink looks magnificent! I love tamarind.



  2. Good looking and well moreish.
    Great click ♥

  3. I had absolutely no idea that tamarind was a legume! I feel so knowledgeable now. :P This drink sounds extremely refreshing!

  4. Wow, Susan! What perfect timing....

    A friend of mine was staying with me for a while and left some tamarind. I've never cooked with them before and didn't have a clue what to do with them. And then voila! Your post makes me want to dash into the kitchen right now and start in on a batch of this beautiful looking drink.

  5. What a wonderfully written post! I enjoyed every word:)
    The first time I had tamarind was when I encountered it in an Oriental store. And then my daughter and I bought some tamarind candy from an old Mexican woman in the city of Izamal in Yucatan. A while ago I discovered tamarind pods in our local Persian store!
    And you tell me I can make a drink with it? How serendipitous:)
    Thanks for the inspiration1

  6. that drink looks so refreshing and a gorgeous colour - and sounds like it would taste amazing too

  7. i hurried to your blog as soon as you mentioned 'tamarind' in the mail. wow! a cold drink made of tamarind, this looks refreshing. And i know how addictive those tamarind candies are, i also love the their tamarind juices in cans. My mom makes an amazing tamarind pickle i cant wait to share with u now. soon maybe!

    great drink and thanks for recipe

  8. Thank you, A!

    Rosa - Thanks. It shot prettier than I had predicted.

    Hi, Ana! Thanks!

    Rachana - Thank you!

    Joanne - The things you learn. ; D

    Hi, Toni! - Thanks. You might first think tamarind is like pomegranate, but there are nuances to flavor and texture that are fun to discern. Hope you enjoy your experimenting. Good to see you.

    Lana - Thanks, dear girl. Those candies are so scrummy. How lucky you are to have a local Persian store. Sigh. I've great Japanese, Korean, and Indian grocers, but I haven't found a Middle Eastern one yet in a neighborhood that is convenient.

    Johanna - Thank you. It's amazingly zesty, a great pick-me-up. And even though it is a tropical drink, the color is appropriately autumnal for this time of year up here.

    Tamanna - Thank you. : ) Tamarind pickle sounds amazing. I am pretty gaga over all kinds of brine-fermented veggies and fruits.

  9. Oh Man, your new header image suddenly makes me love my small kitchen :)

  10. OHoho, that sounds like a delicious, unusual drink! Each time I prepare a dish with tamarind, I always eat/drink/slurp half of the tamarind concentrate before it is in the dish!! So i think it is about time, I try a real tamarind drink!!

  11. Nice idea, wish I can take a sip right now!

  12. excellent cooler, looks quite refreshing and to say its made with tamarind .... wow!