Tamarind’s sweet-sour flavor makes it ideal for sweet and savory dishes alike. We spiced up this syrup with a few hot chiles, making it a great addition to a cocktail or agua fresca.
What to buy: Tamarind concentrate, sometimes labeled as tamarind paste, is a tangy, prunelike, seedless paste that is popular in Southeast Asian and Latin American cooking. It can be found in Latin and Asian markets or online. Avoid tamarind pulp, which contains large pitlike seeds.
Game plan: The syrup will last up to 2 weeks when refrigerated in an airtight container.
- Yield: 2 cups
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 10 mins, plus cooling time
- Active: 10 mins
- 4 dried arbol chiles, stems removed and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup seedless tamarind paste
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until tamarind is broken up. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just comes to a boil, about 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let cool slightly, at least 10 minutes. Once cool, strain mixture into a container with a tightfitting lid; discard solids. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.