4.27.10 Cool Quotient

Tamarind 790 xxx
Soon we'll be hot, sweaty and reaching for something refreshing as we push through the swinging door into the screened-in porch, the smell of summer still on us. Another of the thirst-quenchers I'll have on hand is this Tamarind-Lime Cooler. The agave nectar balances the tartness of the lime and tamarind, and the sweet-spicy Chile Salt really kicks it up a notch. These are the flavors of summer in Guadalajara, in Bangkok, in your own backyard...

Tamarind-Lime Cooler

serves 6
  • — 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • — 3/4 cup blue agave nectar
  • — 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • seltzer
  • — 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • — 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • — 1 tablespoon chile powder

Combine lime juice, agave nectar and tamarind in a small saucepan. Whisk together over low heat, just to combine; about 2 minutes. Strain into a pitcher and chill.

Meanwhile, stir together salt, sugar and chile powder to combine well. Mound on a small plate.

To assemble drinks, rub a juicy piece of lime around the rim of 6 glasses. Dip the rims into the Chile Salt to coat well. Fill the glasses with plenty of ice. Add 1/4 cup of the syrup to each glass and top off with seltzer. Stir well and garnish with a slice of lime.

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Omigod that sounds so good! May I have one right now - even though it's dark and stormy out now, not hot and sweaty?
Eliza on April 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm —
Permission granted!!
laura on April 28, 2010 at 3:55 am —
when i saw the caption on twitter, i had an inkling it *might* be something involving tamarind- and it was! what a fantastic recipe- and i love how you use agave nectar. i really, really want to try this, but the wretched cold just wont leave us alone here in Toronto. xxx shayma
shayma on April 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm —
Could a little splash of something alcoholic be added for even more of a kick? Hmmmm
Sari on April 30, 2010 at 6:08 am —
Oh yeah, some tequila could definitely fall right in there...
laura on April 30, 2010 at 6:26 am —
Love this photo and this recipe. Here's the thing: I have some whole tamarind pods I bought at a market. Do you think I could just crush the seeds into a pulp for this recipe? Have you ever cooked with whole tamarind?
Madame Fromage on April 30, 2010 at 11:26 am —
You can definitely start from scratch, as it were. It's a bit more time-consuming to work with the whole pods, which is why I usually have either the pulp (sold in sticky cakes) or the concentrate on hand. To prepare tamarind pods, pull out the stem and the string that runs down the pod (as you would for a pea pod) and peel off the shells. Pour enough boiling water to cover and let soak. Eight ounces of fresh pods (about 8 large pods) will take about an hour to soften; old pods may take longer. If the pods are very dry, you may have to gently heat while steeping. Mash the pulp (fingers or fork) and then strain out the fiber and seeds through a sieve or cheesecloth. Depending upon the use and the intensity desired, either the steeping liquid or the sieved pulp may be used, although the latter will be quite fibrous. For this recipe, you need a very smooth liquid or paste. Experiment a bit, and let me know how it turns out!
laura on April 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm —