Simple is often the most sublime. A pitcher of freshly made “tamarindo” or ripe tamarind juice/infusion was just terrific! I had the same “aha!” reaction to this juice as I had when I first tried santol juice, here. the tamarind juice was so incredibly simple to make, and it upsets me no end that it isn’t more commonly available. It’s easier to find 52 brands of crappy high fructose juice drinks than this simple, natural, seasonal juice. If I find a Cebu supplier of tamarind, we will definitely introduce this on our menu on a seasonal basis, the same way we have santol and duhat concoctions in season…
After I made some tamarind puree, here, I had a whole jumble of seeds and pulp leftover in the sieve. It seemed a waste to throw it out, so I let it steep in some water and strained it again. I ended up with a cloudy, tart broth. To this, I added some puree and mixed it well. Add some simple sugar syrup to get it to the level of tartness/sweetness you prefer. That’s what’s in the pitcher in the photo above.
Add some water and LOTS of ice cubes and serve cold. If you have never tasted this before, and are a fan of tamarind, you will be pleasantly surprised. I LOVED it! So fresh, light, natural and a real thirst quencher. Though I gather from previous reader comments that it acts as a mild laxative, so you may want to limit your intake to a glass or two at any one time… :)
Mrs. MM went the next step, and tried to make a tamarind shake. Technically a smoothie, we just made a more strongly flavored tamarind base, ramped up the sugar syrup as the cold ice numbs your palate, added lots of ice and blitzed it until a thick and smoothie like. Delicious. A bit one dimensional, like I was thinking a bit of lemongrass or some other foil might be nice, but still refreshing, unusual and delicious.
And what tree was some 10 meters behind our kitchen while we were fooling around with all this tamarind? Of course a mature samaplok or tamarind tree that had LOTS of ripe fruit hanging off its branches… Hmmm, need to harvest that bounty… :)