Mali’s extraordinary wild fruits are used to make many syrups and juices. This recipe mixes fresh tamarind juice with steeped ginger for a refreshing and delicious beverage. If tamarind pods are not readily available in your region, try specialty Asian or African grocery stores or fresh-produce markets.
Makes around 15 servings
190 g fresh ginger
250 g tamarind pods
1 kg sugar
5 l water
23 g mint leaves
Rinse the tamarind pods and soak them for five-six hours in two liters of water. Drain the fruit, place in a bowl and press to release the juice. Next strain the juice by pouring the liquid and pulp into a fine cloth placed over a jug. Wash and peel the ginger, cut it into small pieces and then mash it using a pestle and mortar with the mint leaves. Mix the ginger and mint with a liter of water and leave to steep, before straining the pulp using the cloth. Mix together the ginger-mint water and the tamarind juice in a large jug. Add the sugar and three liters of water. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. Serve chilled.
You’ll find this recipe and many others in the booklet Mali. De la terre à la table, produced by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity with the support of FAO (in French only).