26 Feb 2013

Tamarind Forever

I am a little taken with tamarind at the moment.

For you hardy adventurers who have not come across this delicious fruit, it is an almost citrus type flavour, the seed pod of the tamarind tree, originating in Africa, and now growing in many tropical and subtropical climes 

http://caribbeanpot.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/tamarind-sauce.jpgIt is often sold as a paste or syrup, I buy it as a slightly dried and compacted block of pulp, which you can then cut chunks off, add a little boiling water to and pass through a sieve to make your own fresh pulp, it's cheaper and lasts longer if you purchase it that way. It adds a glorious check sucking sour edge to many chinese and indian dishes. you could use it in place of lime or lemon juice, though it has a very unique flavour all it's own....
As all adventurers need to get used to local delicacies, with no thought of personal danger, I have been experimenting with a cocktail for you!

http://www.sukamtradingcompany.com/full-images/whole-tamarind-819947.jpg2 measures Hendricks gin
1 tablespoon tamarind syrup
The juice of a fresly squeezed blood orange

Shake over ice and pour into a chilled glass with a couple more ice cubes and a twist of lime peel for garnish, you can top up with plain soda or tonic water for a longer drink.

To make the syrup, mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup of water and boil for three minutes. add 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste or sieved pulp and mix well, removing from the heat and bottling when cool.

Drink with style!