HOW TO MAKE UKWAJU (TAMARIND) JUICE

My earliest memories of Ukwaju date back to when I was really young, less than 10 years old. Sighs “seems like ages ago lol” We used to go visit our grandma every holiday after closing schools. That is every April, August and December, like clock work we knew our holidays would be spent in “ushago” upcountry. And we loved it! Partly because the chores would be less, you know, its true that grandmas always spoil their grandkids 😉… I can’t really remember which month it was or if it was those 3 months but the ukwaju (tamarind) tree was always ripe. Since the tree was too rough to climb, we would use long sticks to beat the pods out of their stems. Then we would gather on the ground, peel off the top later and suck the hell out of all those yummy insides. They do have a tangy sweet taste which we loved anyway. Then after the holidays, we would carry some back to town and mom would make fermented porridge and add the ukwaju while cooking. It was the best tasting porridge ever! Now fast foward to now, and being a grown up, I know the many uses of the ukwaju (tamarind) other than eating and adding to porridge. So my first ukwaju recipe is how to squeeze out the delicious juice so that you can use it for many other recipes. Have you tasted Ukwaju before? What has been your experience?

INGREDIENTS

1 Pack Ukwaju (Tamarind)

METHOD

Pour water in deep sufuria (pan)

Allow the water to simmer until boiling

Add the ukwaju into the hot water

Boil the ukwaju stalks for 1 minute

Allow the water to cool and leave the ukwaju in the water for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, use your fingers to squeeze out as much flesh from the stalks and seeds as you can

This is how the seeds and stalks look like after being squeezed

Remove most of the seeds and the stalks from the water

Use a sieve fo finish getting rid of any seeds, stalks or roots

I switched to this bigger sieve since the fine one was giving me only the liquid instead of the this sauce that you get from squeezing the ukwaju

Pour your ukwaju juice in a jar with tight lid and store in the fridge for later use if not using immediately

You can use this Ukwaju juice to make thick sauces that you can eat with viazi karai, bhajia or fries, you can drink the Ukwaju juice as is or mix with other fruits to make different flavoured juices or you can add to your porridge to give it an extra kick and flavour.

A very simple process of extracting Ukwaju juice that you can use for so many dishes!


HOW TO MAKE UKWAJU (TAMARIND) JUICE


Recipe by Mulunga Alukwe


Prep time: 05 Minutes
Cook time: 40 Minutes
Total time: 45 Minutes
Yield: 1 Jar
Ingredients

  • 3 Cups
    Tamarind (Ukwaju)
  • 4 Cups
    Water

Cooking Directions

  1. Pour water in deep sufuria (pan). Allow the water to simmer until boiling. Add the ukwaju into the hot water. Boil the ukwaju stalks for 1 minute
  2. Allow the water to cool and leave the ukwaju in the water for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, use your fingers to squeeze out as much flesh from the stalks and seeds as you can. Remove most of the seeds and the stalks from the water. Use a sieve to finish getting rid of any seeds, stalks or roots. Switch to this bigger sieve since the fine one will give you only the liquid instead of the thick sauce that you get from squeezing the ukwaju
  3. Pour your ukwaju juice in a jar with tight lid and store in the fridge for later use if not using immediately
  4. You can use this Ukwaju juice to make thick sauces that you can eat with viazi karai, bhajia or fries, you can drink the Ukwaju juice as is or mix with other fruits to make different flavoured juices or you can add to your porridge to give it an extra kick and flavour.
  5. A very simple process of extracting Ukwaju juice that you can use for so many dishes!

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