Tamarind Balls

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

This sweet is normally made with fresh tamarind pods. Although you can find these in gourmet shops and Indian and Middle Eastern markets, it’s a lot of trouble to extract the pulp and remove the seeds, especially when seeded pulp is readily available in blocks. Some people like to add a bit of hot pepper for another dimension to the sweet-and-sour taste.


  • 8 ounces tamarind paste
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon finely chopped hot pepper (optional)


  1. Mix the tamarind paste with 1 cup of the sugar, adding more sugar as needed to get a stiff, moldable consistency. Add the hot pepper, if using, and mix well. Cover this mixture with plastic wrap and set aside overnight at room temperature.
  2. Form the tamarind mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment. Allow them to dry for a few hours, uncovered at room temperature.
  3. Roll the tamarind balls in the remaining sugar and store at room temperature in a flat container with waxed paper between the layers. Tamarind balls keep for up to 2 weeks.