Tamarind/ Imli (Hindi)/ Hunase hannu (kannada)/ Huli (commonly referred so in Coastal Karnataka) is an essential ingredient in any Indian kitchen. Cleaned & preserved tamarind with hint of salt is available throughout the year. Soutn indian sambhar cannot be prepared without this fruit. It has number of health benefits too. The antioxidants & antibacterial properties of this can be used in treating many ailments. It is believed to be good for digestive system health, problem of dry eyes, treatment of constipation and many more. It is useful in pregnancy sickness too. Recently I came to know from my sister in law that, eating a piece of tamarind helps as instant remedy for migraine/ headache.
It was when there was no refrigerator in every house; people could not store lemons for long time. It was not easy to make juice instantly like today when there was a sudden need or guests during that time. Shops were never used to be nearby home so that someone can get something. Then tamarind juice was a quick fix. It is quick, tasty & made with the ingredients available all the time. So if you have not tried it so far, try now, don’t wait more.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Tamarind – small lemon sized/ 1-2 tsp extract
Sugar/ Jaggery – 4 tsp, adjust as required
Cardamom – 1
Water – 2 glasses
Ice cubes – few (optional)
Soak tamarind in ¼ glass of water for few minutes. You can use hot water, it will speed up the process.
Extract the juice completely, discard the residue. If you feel it still has tamarind, you can use in cooking.
Dilute with remaining water.
Add sweetener of choice, dissolve.
Add crushed/ powdered cardamom.
Serve this juice chilled with added ice cubes optionally.
You can use your choice of sweetener like sugar/ jaggery/ honey
Crushed mint leaves can be added instead of cardamom or you can make plain juice with just tamarind.
You can add soda/ carbonated water to this juice. In this case make it concentrated.