This Tamarind Tea (Agua de Tamarindo) is rich in antioxidants and made with three ingredients: tamarind pods, water and sugar.
I grew up on this drink - anytime we had a birthday party or a special celebration, Agua de Tamarindo was served. Even though tamarind originated in Africa, it is used prevalently in India and Latin American countries like Mexico. Mexicans even make candy out of this stuff!
I found tamarind pods at my local Mexican supermarket, although they usually sell them in the ethnic food sections of your grocery store. You can also buy them on amazon. Once you make this, you will start to make it weekly in your household. I always have a jar of it in my refrigerator and it is so refreshing whenever you need a nice drink.
What is Tamarind Tea?
Tamarind tea is a beverage made from the leaves, pulp or flowers of the tamarind plant (Tamarindus indica). The tamarind plant is native to Africa and tropical regions of the world, and it is widely cultivated for its edible fruit. Tamarind tea is a popular drink in many cultures and is known for its tart and slightly sweet taste.
To make tamarind tea, the leaves, pulp or flowers of the tamarind plant are steeped in hot water to extract their flavors and nutrients. Some recipes may also include other ingredients such as ginger, honey, lemon, or mint to enhance the taste of the tea. Tamarind tea can be served hot or cold, depending on personal preference.
Tamarind tea is believed to have several health benefits. It is a good source of antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin C, and it may help improve digestion, boost the immune system, and lower blood sugar levels. However, it's always important to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating any new beverage or supplement into your diet.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Tamarind Pods
See recipe card for Tamarind Tea quantities.
How to make Tamarind Tea Recipe
Video below for step by step instructions.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and while you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare the tamarind pods by cracking them open and removing the shell and the strings.
When the water comes to a boil immediately remove it from the heat and place the soft tamarind and the sugar in the water. Give it a good stir and then let it soak for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
When the water cools down, strain the water into another bowl. Squeeze out the hard tamarind seeds and remove any remaining seeds and toss.
Place the filtered liquid and the remaining “good” pulp from the strainer into a blender and blend until smooth.
Feel free to strain the liquid again or leave it pull, as you desire.
Pour the water into a jar, add 4 more cups of cold water, and refrigerate. Serve over ice.
Tamarind Pods: I bought the tamarind pods on Amazon. They come dried up and you will need to crack the shells and pull out the strings. The tamarind pods are essential for this tea.
Sugar: I used cane sugar but you can use granulated or brown sugar.
Tamarind Tea Recipe Variations
- Tamarind-Ginger Tea: Combine 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, and 1 tablespoon honey in a teapot. Add 4 cups of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve hot or iced.
- Tamarind-Lemon Tea: Combine 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon honey in a teapot. Add 4 cups of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve hot or iced.
- Tamarind-Mint Tea: Combine 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate, 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, and 1 tablespoon honey in a teapot. Add 4 cups of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve hot or iced.
- Tamarind Margarita: If you are loving the taste of tamarind and feel like a cocktail, try my Tamarind Margarita.
- Small pot: You can use a small pot to heat and steep the tamarind.
- Strainer or cheesecloth: You will need a strainer or cheesecloth to strain the tamarind tea and remove any solids.
- Measuring spoons: Measuring spoons are needed to measure the amount of tamarind concentrate, honey, or other ingredients used in the recipe.
- Sweetener: You can use honey, sugar, or other sweeteners to add sweetness to the tamarind tea.
How to store Tamarind Tea
To store tamarind tea, you can follow these steps:
- Allow the tea to cool to room temperature.
- Pour the tea into a clean, airtight container. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids or plastic pitchers work well.
- Store the tea in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
- If you prefer to make a larger batch of tea, you can store it in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. Simply pour the cooled tea into a freezer-safe container, leaving about an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion as the tea freezes.
- When you're ready to drink the tea, simply thaw it in the refrigerator or at room temperature, and then heat it up on the stove or in the microwave, if desired.
Tamarind Tea Recipe Top tips
- Select fresh tamarind pods: Look for tamarind pods that are plump, unblemished, and free of mold or other signs of spoilage. Fresh tamarind pods will have a moist, sticky texture when you break them open.
- Remove the shells and fibers: To prepare the tamarind pods, break off the shell and remove the sticky pulp inside. You may need to soak the pods in warm water to make this step easier. Once the pulp is removed, discard the shells and fibers.
- Soak the tamarind pulp: Once you have the tamarind pulp, soak it in warm water for at least 30 minutes to soften it and release the flavor.
- Strain the pulp: After soaking, strain the tamarind pulp through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds or fibers.
- Sweeten the tea: Depending on your taste preference, you can sweeten the tamarind tea with honey, sugar, or another sweetener of your choice.
- Add flavorings: If desired, you can add other flavorings to the tamarind tea, such as ginger, mint, or lemon.
- Adjust the strength of the tea: You can adjust the strength of the tamarind tea by adding more or less water to the recipe.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove