Trinidad Tamarind Balls Recipe (Tambran Balls)

Tamarind balls are delightful, sugary treats in the Caribbean. They are made with tamarind pulp and seeds and lots and lots of sugar. You can also add your own flavorings to it too. They are perfect sweet snacks for the kids that they can make on their own.

Tamarind can also be used to make a wonderful tangy tamarind sauce.

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For this recipe, I used: tamarind pulp with seeds, sugar, Caribbean green seasoning, salt and warm water.

You can start with tamarind pods in the shells or already shelled tamarind pulp. Here I used tamarind pods but you can skip this step and get tamarind pulp on Amazon.

As for the seasoning, it is made with chadon beni, garlic, chives and pepper. This adds a savory taste to the tangy tamarind and sweet sugar. Make your own green seasoning or get it on Amazon.

How to make tamarind balls

Remove the tamarind seeds

Crack open the brittle pods and remove the pulp. The pulp is usually segmented where the seeds are so pull the segments apart to separate the individual seeds. There’s also a string that runs along both sides of the pulp. Remove that too. You can compost the shells or discard them.

peeling tamarind for tamarind candy

Season the pulp

Add the salt and green seasoning to the pulp. You’ll want to add these at the beginning because, as you soften the pulp, you’ll start infusing the flavors into the tamarind flesh. If you use pepper in your seasoning, you’ll want to use gloves for the next part.

season tamarind pulp for tamarind balls

Soften the pulp

Add the warm water to the tamarind seeds and mix. The pulp will absorb the moisture and begin to soften. Get in there with your clean hands (or gloves if you want) and squeeze the seeds for about 5 minutes or so. The pulp will become softer and softer. There’s no need to add more water – just keep working on the flesh.

soften the tamarind pulp for candy

Add sugar

When there is little to no pulp on the tamarind seeds, add half of the sugar and work into the softened tamarind. The sugar will begin to dissolve in the tamarind pulp. As the sugar becomes completely brown, add half of the remaining sugar.

Work the sugar in and begin squeezing to form one and a half to two inch balls. Be sure to get a few seeds in each ball. Roll them between the palms of your hands to get that nice rounded shape (sorry this photo is a little blurry).

form tamarind balls

When you’re happy with the shape, roll the balls in the remaining sugar to give it a white, sugar coating.

Place on a plate or tray to dry out. As the tamarind balls dry, they will begin to harden. You can place them in the fridge to dry out too. Serve when they are completely hard and can hold their own rounded shape.

tamarind balls and tamarind pods

Can you batch make tamarind balls

This recipe makes 6 tamarind balls. Feel free to scale up the recipe and batch make for your friends and family. It stays well in the fridge for a week or two and you can freeze them for later.

Flavorful tamarind balls recipe

Flavorful tamarind (tambran) balls recipe

Tamarind balls or tamarind candy are popular sugary treats in the Caribbean. They are made with tamarind pulp, sugar, and Caribbean green seasoning.
Prep Time10 minutes
Drying time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: tamarind balls
Servings: 6 balls
Calories: 149kcal
Author: Ros Singh


  • ½ cup tamarind pods
  • 1 cup sugar
  • tbsp very warm water
  • 1 tsp green seasoning (with chadon beni, garlic, and chives)
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper (optional)


  • Deshell the tamarind pulp and separate the seeds.
  • Add salt and green seasoning to the seeds.
  • Mix in the warm water.
  • Work the water into the pulp. Rub and squeeze the pulp for at least five minutes to soften the pulp.
  • Work in half of the sugar (1/2 cup).
  • Once incorporated, repeat for half of the remaining sugar (1/4 cup).
  • Squeeze to form 1½ to 2 inch balls.
  • Roll between your palms to shape the balls.
  • Roll the finished ball in the remaining sugar.
  • Set aside to dry.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Enjoy when hardened.

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