Have you ever had tamarind balls? Tambran or tamarind balls is a delightful Caribbean snack that evey child had grown up eating. This was our sweet snack years ago. It was simple and homemade.
The season for tamarind or tambran (as we call it) is coming to an end once more. As usual there are a lots of it on my tree. This will be the second recipe with tamarind on this site (the other is Tambran (Tamarind) sauce). Tamarind ball is a traditional snack and is especially loved by children because of its sweet-sour-peppery taste. This conglomeration of sweet and sour goodness is surely up my alley, because you all know I have more of a sour, spicy, tooth than a sweet one 🙂
The Tamarind in Trinidad is very sour and cannot be eaten naturally by some people. Or as we say in Trini "It so sour it does edge teeth". Tamarind, however, makes a good tambran ball and sauce for pholourie. There is sweet tamarind variety which is also getting popular here in Trinidad and Tobago. This sweet type comes from Thailand.
It has a more tolerable, natural taste than the local variety because of its natural sweetness. I happen to like it as well. Another tamarind product I found in the supermarket is "Picarindo" from Mexico. It is similar to our local tambran balls except that it has a red preservative added to it. I see they even have one on a stick, and just like the tambran ball it is absolutely mouth watering.
Two Ways to Make Tamarind Ball
I know of two ways to make tamarind ball. The only difference is that one has flour added and the other doesn't. The recipe we are doing is for the one with flour. (Please note: The tamarind balls without the flour is softer, and not as firm as the one with flour. Also in making it without the flour, a little bit of hot water is added to the tamarind pulp, as the first step, to soften the pulp. No water is added to it again.) I hope you enjoy this traditional snack just like "tanty" used to make. Don't forget to tell me how it comes out when you make it or your family and friends.
Tamarind Ball Recipe
TAMBRAN or TAMARIND BALLS
1 ½ lb sugar, approximately
1 lb Tamarind pulp, cleaned
3 tbsp flour (optional)
pepper to taste
salt to taste
Here we have a bucket of tamarind waiting to be cleaned. Actually, I picked this from my tree in the backyard. Place about 1 lb of the cleaned tamarind pulp in a large bowl.
Add salt and pepper to taste and about three tablespoons of sugar.
Knead in the ingredients while separating the seeds. Sprinkle a little water over the tamarind ( very little ) to moisten it a bit. According to how sour the tamarind is, more sugar may have to be used. Let taste be your guide.
(This step is optional). Add the flour (This helps the mixture to bind better). Knead the flour into the tamarind. If necessary add salt to adjust taste. The tamarind is now ready to make the balls
Take up enough tamarind and roll between your hands to make a ball about 2 inches in diameter.
Don't forget to leave your comment for this tamarind ball recipe in the comment box below.
Tambran or Tamarind Balls
- 1 ½ lb. brown sugar approximately
- 1 lb tamarind pulp cleaned
- 3 tbsp flour optional
- Pepper to taste about 2 tsp.
- Salt to taste about ¼ tsp.
- Place about 1 lb of the cleaned tamarind pulp in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and about three tablespoons of sugar. Knead in the ingredients while separating the seeds. Sprinkle a little water over the tamarind ( very little ) to moisten it a bit.
- According to how sour the tamarind is, more sugar may have to be used. Let taste be your guide.
- (This step is optional). Add the flour (This helps the mixture to bind better). Knead the flour into the tamarind. If necessary add salt to adjust taste.
- Roll into balls - about 2 inches in diameter. In a separate plate or bowl pour some sugar and roll the tamarind ball in it. Store in the refrigerator or in a cool area.