Mexican Tamarind Candy


This is the most favorite Mexican candy of all 10 of my children...sweet, spicy, and so yummy. Full of tamarind fruit. Makes a great activity for children to help with on a long rainy or hot summer day...and homemade has no traces of some store-bought tamarind candies.

close up view of Mexican Tamarind Candy in plastic white spoons
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 45 mins
50 servings


  • 1 pound tamarind pods, peeled

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented

  • 4 cups white sugar

  • 4 tablespoons chile-lime seasoning (such as Tajin®), or more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Bring tamarind pulp, water, and orange to a boil in a pot; continue to boil for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.

  2. Pour tamarind mixture into a colander placed over a large bowl. Mash and scrape against the side of the colander until all the juice and pulp drips into the bowl. Dump remaining seeds into a strainer and repeat the process; remove the outer casing around the seeds by hand and toss out the seeds.

  3. Blend outer casings with juicy pulp in an electric blender.

  4. Return mixture to the large pot and add sugar, Tajin®, and butter. Bring to a soft boil, stirring constantly. Heat to 240 degrees F (115 degrees C) or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from water and placed on a flat surface.

  5. Remove from heat and let cool, about 2 hours.

  6. Fill a pastry or plastic sandwich bag with the candy mixture and squeeze onto plastic spoons. Place plastic spoons onto a cookie sheet and chill until firm, about 1 hour. Coat with more Tajin® if desired, wrap with plastic, and close with a twist tie.

Cook's Notes:

You can use 1 lemon or 3 limes instead of an orange.

Soft ball stage is when a drop of hot candy sauce is dropped into a cup of cold water, and it can be rolled up into a soft ball. If you cook to the hard ball stage (where candy dropped into cold water rolls into a hard ball), you can make lollipops and hard candy drops from this recipe. This recipe an also be made into cooking until thickened, but not quite at the soft ball stage.

You can also squeeze the candy mixture into small plastic souffle cups, add pieces of fruit, and sprinkle Tajin(R) over tops, chill, and wrap.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

86 Calories
0g Fat
22g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 50
Calories 86
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 58mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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