Tart-sweet tamarind is the essential tang in many Mexican, Indian, and Southeast Asian dishes. It's sold in many forms, including bricks of paste and prepared concentrates, in specialty produce sections and ethnic markets. The "fresh" fruit looks like big, dried, and cracked bean pods. Extract the paste around the seeds to create a liquid base for marinades, sauces, and the cooler here.

How to Make It

Step 1

Mix together 1 part tamarind liquid (directions below) and 3 parts sparkling water or orange juice. Add sugar to taste and pour into a glass over ice.

Step 2

Tamarind Liquid:

Step 3

If using fresh tamarind, break off and discard pods (some bits will stick).

Step 4

Put the sticky brown paste with seeds (or all or part of a brick of tamarind paste, which often has seeds too) in a bowl and add about 3 parts hot water to 1 part paste. Let stand 3 to 4 minutes to cool. Squeeze pulp from seeds.

Step 5

Rub tamarind mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl; discard residue. Use liquid, or freeze to store.

Step 6

Nutritional analysis per cup with 2 teaspoons sugar.

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