Jul 28, 2014

Tintrinee Panaka


Are you inquisitive about what this is? A tin or a tree? Wait, the title also says Panaka. So, a drink? Ok, that part was easier. So what’s with the tongue twister title? Fret no more. This is just  Tamarind Panaka. Whew. Is that all?

Did you know that tamarind has several health benefits?

  • The fruit juice has ability to improve glucose transport inside the body. However, people with diabetes need to monitor their intake of sweetened drinks such as this carefully.
  • It has substantial amounts of B complex vitamins as well as rich in Iron, Magnesium and fibre.
  • Tamarind juice is used in Indian traditional medicine to treat rheumatism, diabetes, and even obesity.
  • Leaves of tamarind tree are boiled in water and used as antimicrobial wash.
  • Apart from all these, tamarind has high levels of antioxidants such as tartaric acid (the reason for its acidity) and phytochemicals such as limonene and geraniol  which show anti oxidant properties in studies.

To capitalise on it’s health benefits, I’ve attempted this refreshing summer drink. The zest is supplied by the tamarind juice with flavours like lemon grass and kala namak adding to the appeal of this zingy mocktail. We often ignore proper hydration once we cross the summer season. This peppy drink is a great choice of hydration because it is fortified with salts such as Kala namak (Himalayan pink salt) which is rich in minerals too. The use of palm sugar here makes it healthier too.

Chilled, zingy panaka

When Urban Dazzle and IFBM2014 announced the summer/monsoon drink recipe contest, I was sure that I wanted to create a very unique drink. I believe I have. Do try it out and let me know if you liked it. This refreshing drink would look perfect in this Martini glass from Urban Dazzle. The unique stem design captured my interest right away and the volume would be just right for a serving.

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Preparation time – 15 minutes, Cooking Time – 15 minutes, Serves – 4

You Need

4 martini or highball glasses with rim dressed in coloured sugar and chilled.


  1. Ready tamarind pulp – 2 tbsp or Tamarind pods – 2 tbsp tightly packed.
  2. Lemon grass – 5 long stalks
  3. Water – 2 cups+1/2 cup
  4. Palm sugar candy (Panam karkandu) – 1/4 cup
  5. Salt – a pinch
  6. Kala namak – a tiny pinch
  7. Chilled soda – 500 ml


  1. Place the tamarind pulp along with 2 cup of water in a sauce pan and boil for 5 minutes. Set aside. If using tamarind pods, soak in 1cup warm water for  5 minutes, extract pulp. Filter through a mesh filter to remove impurities and repeat process to extract pulp completely. Make up total volume to 2 cups and boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse and roughly chop the lemon grass into a saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Boil this also for 2 minutes for the flavours to release.
  3. To dress the rim of martini glasses, rinse and wipe the glasses well. Carefully and gently rub a lime wedge along the rim of the glass. Invert the mouth of the glass over a plate of coloured sugar. Once the sugar is coated uniformly, place glass in freezer to chill for up to half an hour.
  4. Pour  60 ml of tamarind water and 30 ml of lemon grass water in a cocktail shaker. Add a good pinch of salt, tiny pinch of kala namak, and 2 tsp powdered palm sugar. Shake well. Pour into a dressed chilled glass. Top with soda and serve.

Refreshing summer drink

Tintrinee Panaka