26 November 2013

Tamarind Tea (nam ma kam) and Lemon Grass Tea (nam tak rai) - AFF Thailand Nov 2013

When I was flipping through Forest Leong's The Best of Thai Home Cooking book, I came across this interesting beverage, Tamarind Tea (nam ma kam). Very interesting as I only know tamarind is used in cooking but a beverage?

Since I have all the ingredients and it's so simple, I gave it a try immediately. The tea is best served chilled with lots of ice, taste sweet and sourish, with a fruity aftertaste, quite addictive I must say! I think those who like beverage such as plum juice would like it as it's quite similar.

But hubby didn't like the Tamarind Tea. So I made him Lemon Grass Tea (nam tak rai) instead. Both of us love the fragrance and taste of lemon grass, and once in a while I would cook dishes like lemon grass chicken. Many recipes include screwpine (pandan) leaves and ginger, but we prefer just pure lemon grass. It's such a soothing and refreshing beverage that could be served both warm or chilled.

Tamarind Tea (nam ma kam)
(adapted from The Best of Thai Home Cooking by Forest Leong)

  • 50g Tamarind pulp
  • 1.2L Water
  • 80g White sugar (or rock sugar)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Bring water to boil in a pot. Add tamarind pulp and stir until pulp is dissolved.
  2. Leave to boil for 10 mins, then strain to remove seeds and fibre.
  3. Return strained water to pot and heat over medium heat. Add sugar and salt and stir till dissolved. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired.
  4. Boil for another 3-4 mins, then remove from heat.
  5. Set aside to cool, then chill in fridge or add ice to serve.

 Lemon Grass Tea (nam tak rai)
(adapted from The Best of Thai Home Cooking by Forest Leong)

  • 100g Lemon Grass
  • 1L Water
  • 50g White sugar (or rock sugar)


  • Remove the outer leaves of the lemon grass. Cut into small sections and bruise the lemon grass to release fragrant.
  • Bring water to boil in a pot. Add lemon grass.
  • Leave to boil for 10 mins. Add sugar and stir till dissolved. Adjust sweetness if desired.
  • Remove from heat and strain.
  • Serve hot or chilled.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Thailand ) - Nov Month  hosted by Lena of Frozen Wings.


  1. when i first read about tamarind tea, i also think it tastes something like sour plum juice..yet to try :)

  2. Surprisingly after 1-2 days in fridge, the tangy taste gets lesser and lesser, and gets more sweet and fruity.