Tamarind balls are a favourite treat throughout the Caribbean. The Tamarind tree is indigenous to tropical Africa but is also to be found in the Middle East, India and South Asia. The fruit is used in many recipes, check out things like Worcester Sauce and you’ll find it on there. In some countries tamarind is used in cooking, in others it is mixed with spices. I know tamarind from a Jamaican perspective where it is eaten in it’s raw form as a fruit straight from the tree or more familiar to me as tamarind balls which are made by adding sugar to what can be the tangy sourness of the natural fruit if you’re not used to it.
Tamarind balls are a delicious treat and I love to eat them, however, too many all at once can be a reminder that medicinally tamarind is also used as a laxative. So whilst lovely to look at and lovely to eat, less is definitely be more. Once made you can keep them in a cool place or in the fridge. They can keep for many months.
Here’s my recipe, which includes a little something for the adults 😉 and an additional raw ingredient twist.
Hope you Enjoy!
Tamarind Balls with a Twist
- 1/2 cup of tamarind paste (if creating from fresh fruit you’ll need to crack the shells and remove the string)
- 1 – 1 1/2 cup of raw cane sugar
- 1 tbsp of rum (optional. A little something for the grown-ups)
- 1 tsp of rice flour (optional, but helps to bind especially if adding additional liquid of the rum)
Put the pulp into a bowl. Add the sugar and start working it into the pulp by kneading the pulp and sugar together (if you’re creating from the fresh fruit keep working the mixture together, you will see the fruit seeds will start to automatically come away as you’re working it. Don’t worry if you still have seeds in the final mixture you can easy discard these whilst eating as they are large enough). Add the liquid (water or rum) little by little until the mixture starts to hold. Once the mixture had come together, take some and work into a small ball in your hands.
Roll the ball again in some sugar and seal in an air-tight jar in a cool place.
I’ve also rolled some of mine in raw powdered cacao for a chocolatey taste.
Any other great ways you’re working with Tamarind in it’s raw form? Would live to hear. Tell me about it here or post pics to @LorraineGardens on Instagram. If you love raw desserts try the amazing Coconut Key Lime Pie. Enjoy!