Champola de Tamarindo (Tamarind Juice) is a delicious juice with a bit of a sour touch from tamarind that is refreshing and a favorite in the Dominican Rep.
One of the things I love the most about our cuisine is the fact that we have a large number of fruits available year-round. And we have figured out how to make juices from nearly all of them.
What's a champola?
Champola, or fruit juice  (used specifically for tamarind and Champola de Guanábana (Soursop Juice) in the Dominican Rep.) are natural heat busters, and some of the most popular fruit juices in the Dominican Republic. The word "champola" is also used in Costa Rica and El Salvador.
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), a fruit related to beans, grows in a brown, hard pod from a large tree. Tamarind is originally from tropical Africa and has spread to basically wherever it can grow.
In the Dominican Republic, it is used mostly for juice-making and appreciated for its refreshing and nutritional quality. Tamarind is rich in vitamin B1, iron and magnesium. Tamarind is widely considered to help with sleep, and to have a minor laxative effect with excess consumption .
Tamarindo is not grown on a large agricultural scale, rather it is obtained from small producers. The tree is valued for its shade and low maintenance.
About our recipe
There's very little variation in the way most Dominicans prepare this juice, so it's not likely that you'll find very different versions, but if you know of any, I'd love to hear it.
Check our other Dominican juice recipes that we also recommend you try.
Champola de Tamarindo Recipe (Dominican Tamarind Juice)
- 3 cups of tamarind pulp (seeded, if possible)
- 1 cup of sugar (you may not use it all)
- Soak the tamarind in 1 ½ qrt of water overnight.
- Using a fork try to mash the tamarind to extract the pulp.
- Sieve and get rid of solids.
- Add sugar to taste, add ice and serve.
Notes and Tips
-  Carlos Esteban Deive, Diccionario de Dominicanismos. 2nd edition. Sto. Dgo: Ed. Lib. La Trinitaria, 2002.
-  Tamarindus Indica. Purdue University