A Super Fruit: Tamarind!

Tamarind is “Tamsugu or Tamsu” in Kanuri, “Tsamiya” in Hausa, “Eso Ajagbon” in Yoruba, “Ichekun Oyibo” in Igbo: 

Health is wealth: Healthy eating, and healthy living; so it is advisable to eat and take food in its natural forms especially fruits and plants best of all is organic food. Nutritious food choices are vital to healthy living, always eat to live not live to eat!

Tamarind is a pod-like fruit and it is eaten as a dry licky tangy-sweet fruit, peel the hard brown shell, and a brown fruit is within, the dark brown pulp is the eatable part after removing the black seed and the fruit is eaten as a sweet by licking the pulp; it is used in many local recipes and cuisines such as snacks, tamarind Kunu (kunu tsamiya gruel), tamarind homemade jams, tamarind sauces. Use also as coatings for local snacks such as “funkaso”, “nakiya” or “alkaki” serve as desserts or snack meals.

“Ardep” is a Kanuri homemade juice drink made from tamarind fruit. A tangy-sweet refreshingly healthy drink of the Northeast State of Borno, Nigeria. It is a special delight serve in every home, occasion, and sold on the streets of Maiduguri. A sweet and sour drink with a slightly bitter caramel taste of the toasted granulated sugar syrup. It is advisable to include and replace other commercial bottled drinks with homemade tamarind juice drinks. The first sip of “ardep” drink goes a long way in giving the taste buds a tingling sensation all the way down the throat, slightly bitter caramel after taste, and a spicy feel on the tongue; with every sip, the tastebuds craves for more sips. It is sold in refilled bottles on the streets of Maiduguri, found on most stores in frosted bottles with individual labels, frozen into cute tiny popsicles for kids.


Recipes And Ingredients:-

Tamarind “tsamiya”

Ginger “gitta”

Cloves “konafurr”

Chili Dry Pepper “Borkono”

Sweetener of choice, Honey, Granulated sugar, white or brown. Healthy drink “sugar-less”

Water And Iced Cubes:

Recipe Steps: The best flavor of the drink comes on strong when it is boiled to infused all spices, but if prefer just soak for several hours in hot water and cover. Place a pot on medium heat with enough water to boil, peel tamarind fruits, rinse and add the pulp to the water. Add ginger grated or sliced, cloves, and chili pepper. Boil slowly on low-medium heat; watching closely to avoid it boiling over. When cooked and infused, a sweet aroma emanates from the vapor. Remove from heat and allow to cool. It is best to use a fine mesh, sieve, or cheesecloth to sieve the light brown juice, remove and discard the peel, fibers, and black seeds with the spices. Cover and allow to settle; strain again using a cheesecloth to remove the smooth pulps under the settled juice.

Meanwhile, make sugar toasted caramel syrup; put a saucepan over low heat and pour in granulated sugar. Stir continuously and toast until melted and golden brown. Stirring just before it starts to bubble, immediately pour in a cup of the boiled “ardep” juice, and stir continuously to avoid the sugar syrup from hardening. The sugar syrup gives the drink a beautiful golden color, releasing a sweet aroma, which unlocks a distinct flavor giving a super sweet delicious caramel taste.

Mix in all the caramel syrup into the remaining boiled tamarind drink. Sweeten to taste with honey, white or brown sugar. As a health drink, serve without sweeteners. Store in refill bottles or refrigerate in packs. Dilute to taste before serving. Enjoy this sweet deliciousness for refreshment and healthy well-being.

The health benefits of tamarind are many; tamarind is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B, C, Potassium, iron, riboflavin and it is a blood thinner. Heart-friendly by stabilizing and maintaining healthy blood pressure due to its zero fat content, excellent loads of fiber to help with digestion as a superb anti-bloat, and good for a bowel movement to relieve constipation as a natural laxative. The juice of the tamarind fruits can be used as a detox drink and health drink but must be taken in moderation to avoid diarrhea. The best remedy during the summer heat, help and protects from heat exhaustion and dehydration. Good for nerve functions, lower the risks of diabetes when taken without sweeteners, and helps in weight control; excellent anti-inflammatory properties and superb anti-oxidant loads helping to protect cells from free radicals.

Always eat for health benefits, go for quality food choices over quantity, remember that not every meal beautifully garnished and presented through advertisements is healthy, consider the food ingredients, method of preparation, food sources, its benefits, calories and above all avoid artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. Eat food as medicine to avoid eating medicines as food; you are what you eat!