Tamarind Balls (Traditional Mexican Candy)

Hey everyone! Here you have my third recipe for the "5 de Mayo Celebration", this one is one of the most famous "Candies" in Mexico and it is my favorite treat of all times! I would eat this every single day for the rest of my life if I could! I admit, I do eat it almost every day when I am in Mexico, and that's why I always gain weight when I'm there! I just can't help it, this delicious treat is spicy, sweet, tangy and everything in between! My mouth is watering just by talking about it, seriously I can almost taste this delicious goodness all over again!

If you ever go to Mexico, go to the Markets or the main Plazas, and there you will find some Tarahumara (Native American) man or woman selling this Tamarindo Balls, they sell a bunch of different candies, Coconut candies, Guava candies, Palanquetas, Masapanes, and all kinds of toasted seeds, everything is just delish! But Tamarindo Balls are my #1 when it comes to Traditional candies!

If you have never had one before, and you like spicy-tangy flavors, you should definitely give this one a try! It will hit all the right spots for your cravings!

Makes 6 2in Balls
300 grams Tamarind pods
½ cup sugar
¼cup of water
2-3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt

For garnish:
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of salt

Peel off the tamarind pods. Press them in between your finger tips and their shell will break right away, peel them off and remove the veins that run along the tamarind pods.

For the garnish:
Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, with 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt, mix well and set aside until you are ready to use it.

In a sauce pan combine the water, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper, stir together and bring to a boil. When it starts to boil, add in the tamarind pods and continue to cook on medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the tamarindo dissolves into a paste. Set it aside to cool.

After it cools, remove some of the seeds. Do not remove all the seeds! They will add some texture to the Tamarind balls. Every single Tamarind candy I had eaten in my life has had seeds!

Grab some of the tamarind paste and form it into a ball with your hands. If the paste is too sticky, sprinkle more sugar and cayenne pepper over it. Don't worry if the balls don't look like a perfect-ball at first. You will finish shaping them later.

Once all the balls are ready, roll them over the spicy-sugar mixture. Rub a little bit of this mixture on the palm of your hands, grab the ball once again and roll it with your hands until you have a nice round ball. Keep on doing this until you are done. And that's it! They are ready to be eaten! Yummm. Enjoy!