Tamarindo is available in bulk pods in most Latin and Thai groceries. I love their rich, tart flavor in both sweet and savory dishes. Pulpo is a rustic candy, indicative of the intense sweet, sour, spicy flavor so prized in Mexico.
This is the easiest way I have found to rid the pods of their seeds and strings. First you must remove the hard outer pod. Then put the meaty interior in a pan and barely cover with water, simmer until the flesh is tender but not disintegrating. Place the pods in your blender with their water. Blend gently to knock the flesh from the seeds, strain through a sieve pressing out the flesh.
This paste can be frozen in ice cube trays and used for any tamarindo paste recipe.
Ingredients: these are my very approximate measurements as I don’t have a scale
1/2 lb tamarind pods – with outer skins removed –
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs cayenne chili Use a dry chili like cayenne, any spicy dry chili will work – just don’t use chili powder as many powders will have cumin or paprika in them
Place the pods in just enough water to cover, cook gently until it is thick paste adding water as necessary, use medium heat and stir frequently, take care that it does not stick and burn. Continue to cook until the flesh falls form the seeds. Add sugar and chili, what you are going for is a balance of sweet, sour and spicy to your taste. Cool and wrap spoonful’s in squares of cellophane, tie it like a bonbon. We eat this with the seeds and strings, just spit out the debris, muy authentico.
Agua de Tamarindo
1 cup simple syrup- 1cup sugar melted in 1 cup water, I put a good pinch of salt in it for this recipe
1 cup tamarindo pulp, to taste
1 quart water
Mix and chill
quitased! (thirst quenching)