Friday, July 15, 2011

Spice Tamarind Drink

This past week I was in South Florida and visited the local farmers market. And as always I enjoy and get great delight shopping at open air farmers market especially in South Florida. Where an abundance of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs dried and pickled Meats and Fish, which are staples in the Caribbean can be found at most South Florida Markets.
To my delight I found some great locally grown dry Tamarind. Tamarind is a Fruit that resembles a dry bean in a pod, The shell when ripe is brown and brittle. The fruit which covers a brown seed is sticky to the touch and very tart.

Growing up in the Caribbean as kids we would enjoy the tartness of the tamarind by eating it straight from the shell or we sometimes added sugar and forming them into balls called tamarind balls. In the Caribbean Tamarind is used in jams, jellies, sauces. drinks, dressings, and desserts.

Here I will share two of my favorite tamarind recipes. "Spice Tamarind Punch" and " Tamarind Jam" I hope you will give it a try.

4 pound dry tamarind shells removed (you an also use tamarind paste found at most Caribbean and Asian markets)

4 quarts water

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoon star anise

4 sticks cinnamon

4 cups brown sugar

lemon slices, star anise, cinnamon sticks for garnish

Place the Tamarind in a large glass bowl. Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and pour over tamarind Soak the tamarind over night.

Add the ginger, and spices and allow to sit for 1-2 hours. Strain and add the sugar. Reserve the tamarind pulp for Jam Making.

Refrigerate and chill. Add the lemon and spices just before serving and stir. Enjoy. Serves 8

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