‘Tamarein’ (Tamarindus indica) is an import from South East Asia, originally from the Sahel. Initially cultivated on our island, it now runs wild providing much-needed shade and satisfying sweet tooths with its oh-so-sour, yet-also-sweet, meaty fruit (bonus laxative!)
If you haven’t tried all-natural djus di Tamarein (tamarind juice), you’re seriously missing out. Granted, you might be thinking: brown water?! who in their right mind would ever drink that?! Yes, it looks a little… gross… but I promise you won’t be disappointed!
In fact, formerly during Kuaresma (Lent) people used to eat sòpi di tamarein with funchi on Fridays.
Ingredients for ‘Djus di Tamarein’
35 large peeled tamarinds
5 cups of water
1 cup of brown sugar
Bring all ingredients to a boil while stirring with a wooden spoon until texture thickens. Taste and add more water as needed. Strain the pits and let cool. Add more sugar if needed. (Serves 4)
(Recipe by Cedric and Rayendra Maria in Revista Désirée edishon #4)
Granted, if you don’t have access to tamarein or time to make Djus di Tamarein from scratch, simply buy some Tamarind paste at the store and mix with water. Or run out to the west side of the island and find Senjora Francisco and her adorable granddaughters — they make the very best Djus di Tamarein! (under a tree near Christoffel Park, most weekends, when the sun begins to set)
Senjora Francisca and her two granddaughters, near Christoffel Park.