One of my favourite things to eat when we were in Oaxaca and Isla Mujeres on our honeymoon were paletas – Mexican ice blocks. They came in a myriad of flavours from coconut to pineapple + chilli to grape and some restaurants even offered complimentary mini ones after your meal.
One flavour that I found particularly refreshing was tamarind. It was a nice mix of sour and sweet and had a little hit of lemongrass at the end. I had a go at recreating this recently and it’s pretty yummy!
My tamarind and lemongrass ice blocks
Popeye – a cute paleta store in Oaxaca
Paletas from Michoacana in Isla Mujeres
The paleta man and his cart in Oaxaca
Tamarind and lemongrass ice blocks
1 1/2 cups water
100g tamarind puree (I picked this up in the Asian section of the supermarket)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
Place water, tamarind, sugar and lemongrass in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Refrigerate until cool.
Strain the mixture into a large jug and pour into 6 x 1/3 cup capacity ice block moulds. Top with a sheet of tin foil and press ice block sticks through foil into each mould. The foil will help hold the sticks in place (see pic below).
Freeze for at least 4 hours or until the ice blocks are solid. To release them from the moulds, dip briefly into boiling water.