The Best Homemade Tamarind Juice Recipe

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Tamarind juice is a delicious and refreshing drink that is made from the pulp of the tamarind fruit. This juice not only has a tangy and sweet flavor but also great health benefits. In Zambian language, the fruit is known as Kawawasha or Usika. The drink that is made from it is known as Kawawasha drink or Ukwaju.  It grows in a long, bean-like pod and is encased in a hard, brown shell. Inside the shell is a sticky, dark-brown pulp that has a sour and sweet taste.


  • Fresh tamarind pods
  • 4 cups of water
  • Sugar
  • Ice cubes (optional)


Step 1: Prepare the Tamarind Pods

To start, you will need to prepare the tamarind pods. First, break open the shells of the tamarind pods and remove the pulp. You can do this by using your fingers to break the pulp away from the seeds.  Once you have removed all of the pulp, discard the seeds and any hard or stringy bits.

Step 2: Boil the Tamarind Pulp or Allow to Rest

Next, add the tamarind pulp and water to a pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will help to soften the tamarind pulp and extract its flavors. You can also just allow the tamarind and water to rest for about an hour or 2 if you do not want to boil. This will soften the tamarind and extract the flavors.

Step 3: Strain the Mixture

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After simmering for 15 to 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve into a bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to press the pulp against the strainer to extract as much juice as possible. Add some more water to balance out the tanginess. The amount of water you add depends on how concentrated you would like it to be.

Step 4: Add Sugar

Once the juice has been strained, add sugar to the bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. The amount of sugar you add will depend on your preference.

Step 5: Chill and Serve

Finally, transfer the tamarind juice to a jar and refrigerate it until it is cold. Once chilled, you can serve the juice over ice.