When I was little, I would save a few coins every week to buy imli candies from the neighbourhood shop. Though yet unaware of its health benefits, I relished its peculiar flavour — a fond memory that I shared with my friends.
Imli, or tamarind, is much loved for its mouth-watering sweet and tangy flavour. While it’s native to Africa, it’s widely grown within India, being a common ingredient in many of our traditional recipes and medicines. It’s also often regarded as the “date of India”, due to both fruits having similar textures and colours.
Especially during the summer, dieticians and nutritionists recommend imli juice to beat the heat. It has many perks, like treating diarrhoea and constipation. The fruit contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect against illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Tamarind is rich in magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, copper, Vitamin B1 and B2.
As vast as tamarind’s inclusion is in our daily diet, the imli candy remains India’s all-time favourite, especially among children. But there’s an alternative to store-bought ones — chef Saransh Goila shared an easy recipe for imli candy that you can make at home.
- Imli pulp – 100 g
- Jaggery – 100 g
- Jeera powder – ½ teaspoon
- Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
- Pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
- Black salt – ¼ teaspoon
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
Add imli pulp and jaggery into a pan, along with a cup of water. Cook until the mix becomes thick. Add all other ingredients, mix well, and let it cool a little. After a while, take small portions of the mix and turn it into tiny balls. Make sure your hands are wet during the process to avoid sticking. Roll the balls in powdered or crystal sugar and place them inside candy sheets. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes so they become a little stiff. Enjoy the sweet with your kids.
Alternatively, you can purchase candies from Amazon.
1. Kitchen Jungle
This brand says that its imli candies can not only help improve your digestive process but also leave a clean and fresh aftertaste.
Buy the product here.
2. Being Marwari
This candy does not contain any preservatives, artificial flavours, or colours. It is made of just tamarind pulp, and is soft, fruity, slightly sour, and chewy.
Buy the product here.
Times of India
(Edited by Divya Sethu)