Monday, January 12, 2015

Tamarind and Honey Drink (Nuoc Me va Mat Ong)--serves 1

I have an itchy throat and a minor cough for the last 24 hours. Actually since I have been here I get this scratchy itchy throat and cough frequently. This time I wonder if I am starting to get a cold. It's hard to tell since the air is a bit polluted and dusty in this part of Vietnam. I don't have vitamin C pills but I do have lots of tamarind. Earlier I went to the market and bought a bag (equivalent to about 2 cups) of tamarind pulp and seeds. This batch of tamarind looks really good--golden brown. I think it is much better than buying the whole pods. A few days prior I purchased whole pods and when I opened up the skin the insides for most of the pods were still green. I can't make a drink if the inside of a tamarind pod is still green. It needs to be a golden brown color in order for me to render any juice. I used honey that I brought over from the United States. My friend Lynne gave me a large jar of beautiful looking honey produced from her neighbor's yard. Honey is an excellent cough suppressant. Here is a drink to help my symptoms called nước me va mật ong (in Vietnamese) or tamarind and honey drink. Thank you Lynne!!

delicious honey from
London Buzz Apiary (Hampstead, NH)
fresh tamarind pulp and seeds

1 1/2 Tbsp tamarind pulp/seeds (more or less depending on your taste)
1/4 cup hot water plus 1 cup cold water (more depending on your taste)
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp of honey (more or less depending on your taste)


1) Put tamarind and hot water in a glass. Mash the tamarind with the back of the spoon to render out the juice. Either leave the pulp and seeds in or remove from the glass (depending on your preference). I remove and discard these.
2) Add honey and stir to dissolve.
3) Add cold water and ice.

*My cough and itchy throat subsided quite a bit after the drink!
*Adjust the ingredients to your preference.
*I don't recommend giving children under 2 honey; as it "is a known source of bacteria spores that cause botulism." Please check out Infections: Infant Botulism for further information.

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