We call for tamarind pulp here, but it is sometimes deceptively labeled as tamarind paste. When shopping, make sure what you are getting contains the fiber and seeds--see Note below. For an extra-special touch, sugar the rim of the glass.
7 1/2 cups cold water, divided
4 ounces tamarind pulp, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
Lime slices (optional)
How to Make It
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Combine boiling water and tamarind pulp in a bowl; mash with a fork. Let stand 10 minutes. Mash tamarind again. Press through a sieve into a bowl, pressing pulp firmly against the sieve to extract all liquid. Discard solids.
Combine tamarind liquid and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid thickens slightly. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.
Combine tamarind syrup with remaining 6 cups water in a large pitcher. Serve over ice. Garnish with lime slices, if desired.
Note: Look for blocks of tamarind pulp in Asian markets; it keeps a long time in the fridge when well sealed. Avoid tamarind paste that's sold in tins or jars; it often has a metallic taste.
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