These Colombian tamarind sweet balls are a traditional dessert from the Caribbean region of the country.
These Bolas de Tamarindo are a Colombian dessert and is a very simple recipe to make, requiring only two ingredients. These tamarind sweet balls have a wonderful sweet and tart combination. If you like tamarind flavor, I’m sure you’ll love this dessert.
Tamarind Sweet Balls (Bolas de Tamarindo) Recipe
- 20 fresh tamarind pods or 1 14 oz block of tamarind pulp
- ½ cup of sugar
- Remove the tamarind fruit from its shell, devein and break into small pieces. Add to a bowl and mix with 6 tablespoons of sugar, then mold into small balls.
- Place the rest of the sugar in a small bowl. Place the tamarind balls in the mixture and roll around until all of the balls are coated. You can eat them immediately or keep refrigerated in a container for a couple of days.
What is Tamarind?
Is a tree indigenous to Africa, but is also found in Asia and South America. The fruit of the tree is contained in hard, brown pods, which produce a pulp that is sweet and sour in taste.
Tamarind pulp is an important ingredient in Colombian and other Latin country’s cuisine. You can find tamarind in Latin, Indian, and Asian markets, to name a few. It is available in plastic wrapped blocks of shelled tamarind with the seeds, whole pods in shells, or in glass jars. I love making my own pulp and usually buy the blocks, as I find them the easiest with which to work.
In Colombia we use tamarind to make traditional desserts, drinks and savory sauces. I just love the sweet and tart taste of this fruit. These tamarind sweet balls are a wonderful recipe to try this ingredient for the first time.
More desserts you should add to your repertoire:
It's so interesting to know this is a traditional Colombian treat as it is very common throughout South East Asia. I grew up in Malaysia and it was one of my favorite candies! I've had ones with chili powder mixed with the sugar too.
It just shows that there are many similarities in food across the world, especially when you have the same ingredients!