Cooling Down with Tamarind Water!
The temperature finally reach 90 degrees here in Upstate New York. With the glorious heat comes the need to cool our inner environment. We decided to take on the making of Tamarind Water.
Tamarind pods are an odd looking item. Brian is constantly chuckling about how they look. We are not going down that road of potty humor.
Tamarind is sweet, sour, cooling and very sticky. With the weather warming we are looking for a cooling beverage with kick of freshness. Preparing these, other worldly fruits, is an excellent Sadhana (practice). The mashing of the fruit, removing the membrane and seeds brings about a great inner focus.
Below is the recipe that we used. It can be a bit messy, but the final product is a sweet tart beverage that is perfect for a hot summer day. This one can be as tart or sweet as you wish....play around with the ratio until you find the perfect balance for your pallet.
15 dry Tamarind Pods peeled
6 cups water
1/4 cup organic sweetener of your choice. (maple syrup, organic brown sugar, honey...)
1/4 cup Cilantro (optional)
1 - Peel the tamarind - removing as much of the shell as you can from the sticky fruit. Some shell will stick, but it will fall off during the boiling process.
2 - Add 3 cups water to a pot and bring to a
boil. Add peeled pods. Reduce heat and simmer
for 10 minutes.
3 - Let the water cool completely. Take the Tamarind
out of the water - saving the water. Working in a
mindful way, clear the pods with your fingers. You
will be removing the seeds, the inner webbing and
any bits of shell that have been cooked off.
4 - Gather the sticky paste from the beans. Discard all the weird bits and pieces. This part can become a hot mess. Try to contain your movements while working in your pot. Use your fingers to filter through the pulp. You want to be sure that you have removed all the sharp shards.
5- Add soaking water, tamarind pulp, sugar and optional cilantro to blender.
Run blender for about 1 minute - until incorporated.
6 - Strain liquid into a 1/2 gallon jar. In the future, I would strain it over a bowl and then pour into 1/2 gallon jar. This part of the process takes time and patience. Only pour small amounts at a time because you'll need to clear your strainer often. When finished add remaining 3 cups of water.
You can add more water if you want your final Tamarind water thin - this is a personal preference.
7 - Many recipes call for pouring this over ice....well, Ayurveda doesn't recommend ice. If you must add ice - please consume without food on its own in between meals. Chilling briefly (10-15 minutes) in the fridge will give you a very refreshing beverage to sip while swinging in your hammock!