Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tamarind Ice Cream - An Experiment

My husband acquired a taste for tamarind candy in Puerto Rico, where he spent part of his childhood. So I wanted to make tamarind ice cream! This proved to be more difficult than I was originally anticipating, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing. But when has that ever stopped me?

That said, this recipe is only an experiment. The result was delicious. However, there are probably better and/or easier ways to make tamarind ice cream. For example, tamarind syrup (which I couldn't find in stores but is available on the internet) could make things much easier because then you could formulate a recipe without the tamarind mash that I made from tamarind pulp. But here's what I did. (General Guidelines and Advice found here.)

Tamarind Ice Cream

1/2 c. + 2 T tamarind mash (see recipe below)
2 c. soy creamer (note: this would also be really good with coconut milk too!)
1 1/2 c. soy milk
1 c. sugar
2 T. arrowroot
1 t. vanilla

Mix ¼ cup of soy milk with the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot and set aside.

Combine tamarind mash with soy creamer in a sauce pan. Whisk together over medium heat. If, like I did, you find that your tamarind mash has some fibrous bits floating around in the liquid, pour the mixture through a strainer to remove those tough pieces. Return the liquid to the sauce pan.

Add the remaining soy milk and sugar. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and immediately stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will be thicker when it cools).

Add the vanilla.

Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

Tamarind Mash

1/2 c. seedless tamarind pulp*
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 T. lime juice
1 c. + 2 T. water

Combine the tamarind pulp, sugar, lime, and 1/4 cup water in a sauce pan. Heat to dissolve the sugar. Stir in about 1/4 cup water at a time; this will make mixing easier. After all the water is mixed in, transfer the mash to a blender and puree (be careful with the steam!).

This makes about 1 1/4 cups of tamarind mash, more than you'll need for the above ice cream recipe. You can save the rest of the mash and mix it with water and sugar for aqua de tamarindo!

* I bought a package of seedless tamarind pulp at a local Indian grocery store. You could also buy tamarind pods and scrape out the pulp and remove the seeds. Indian, Thai, or Hispanic stores are good places to find tamarinds.


  1. We are SO on the same wavelength, I had just jotted down a note a few days ago to come up with a recipe for tamarind ice cream as I've been on a tamarind chutney kick!! I owe you kudos for doing the legwork :)

  2. Let me know if you come up with a better/easier method than mine!

  3. You are so creative.

  4. Anonymous7:16 PM

    Hi um I am new to all this vegan thing and I was wondering if you had any dark choco ice cream recipe???


  5. To Anonymous:

    I've definitely made delicious dark chocolate ice cream before! I've used the recipe in Vegan Planet, which is very good. You could also use my chocolate raspberry ice cream recipe and make a few changes. Leave out the raspberries, add in maybe 1/2 cup more non-dairy milk and 1/4 cup more cocoa powder. Melt in maybe 1/4 cup more chocolate chips, if you want, or add 1/2 cup chocolate chips at the end of the freezing period for dark chocolate chip.

  6. Anonymous10:47 AM

    I had some tamarind seed pods in the cupboard that I usually use in making chile sauces or moles...and I just got this cuisinart ice cream I thought I would try out tamarind ice cream. So encouraging that you've done it and it worked! I'm wondering what other things might be interesting mixed with it..even though I think just plain tamarind flavor will be fine for the first batch. Thanks!

  7. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Hi I have tried a dish called Chilli and tamarind Pavlova. The Pavlova itself is easy, but the Tamarind part of the ice cream/cream is proving difficult. Anyone have any good ideas, would really appreciate it.