The Sampalok/Tamarind Seeds Coffee

The first experiment with tamarind seeds. Boiled it long enough but did not make it softer. Dumped.

The second experiment. As suggested by Simon, I roasted some sampalok seeds for 15 minutes. Removed the skin and munched in with all my might. I enjoyed the crunchy hard property.

The third experiment. How about tamarind coffee?

I saved about 26 sampalok seeds. I got them from haleya sampalok. It’s similar to ube haleya but he main ingredients are sampalok pulp and glutenous rice. It looks like a more fluid version of kalamay buna.

sampalok seeds in coconut cup

haleya sampalok

I roasted the seeds over low flame until crunchy enough to pierce with pliers. I milled it, coarse grind, and roasted again for few minutes. I did it to get a more or less even roast. I never removed seed coats for convenience.

Added one cup water boiled for five minutes. Filtered off roasted sampalok and transfered to a mug.

milled and roasted sampalok tamarind seeds

boiling tamarind coffee

If the process was done by someone else, I would immediately conclude that it was a rice coffee. The two have similar odor characteristic. I cannot clearly described but definitely not the smell of burning coal.

Pouring to mug produced bubbles that lasted for more than 30 seconds. Significantly longer than regular brewed/instant coffee and tea.

I thought it was black but bringing it in bright light showed the true color. It is dark red when in cup but red orange when small amount is held in spoon. The shade might be due to dark red seed coat.

brewed tamarind coffee

It taste bitter and astringent (mapakla). Felt like a thin film of latex was painted throughout my mouth and around the tongue. The same sensation I felt when I first drink a Lipton tea. It tasted well with sugar.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Roasted Sampalok Seeds

I bought a pack of sampalok candy for my toddler. He was the one who chose it, not me. I thought the candy had no seeds cause it passed by the hands of food processors. My wife grabbed the package. She was pressing every candy before gaving it to my son. She said most of the candies still had seeds.

After a while, my son got full. I got the package and eat all the contents. Most of the sampalok candies really still had seeds. I was spitting away every seed that came in touch. It was almost too late when I remembered my unfinished experiment about the sampalok seeds.

Good thing, I managed to set aside three seeds. Only three but it would be enough to continue my experiment.

In my last experiment, “Are Tamarind Seeds Edible?” I boiled the seeds for one hour. No changes happen so I threw it all.

Simon commented that sampalok seeds are really edible. He states a way to cook it properly. Hey, if you dry roast the tamarind seed in a pan over a medium heat, keeping them moving to stop them burning, for around 10 minutes they will be truly edible. The outer coating will split on the seed, then crack away easily when you come to peel the seed. They taste slightly like coffee and peanuts, they are hard to the tooth, but edible nonetheless. You can boil them after you have dry roasted them to make them softer, but the crunch is satisfying.

I roasted the seeds on a frying pan for 15 minutes. I was not satisfied with “ten” so I made it 15. I let the seeds cool. I tested if I can remove the seed coat. Yes! The seed coat cracked easily using finger nail.

roasted tamarind seeds

How about the seed cotyledon? As said by Simon, the taste is slightly similar roasted coffee beans. It is hard but crunchy. I felt firecrackers exploding loudly inside my mouth.

Warning! Eating the roasted sampalok seeds is enjoyable but not recommended for individual with weak teeth.

roasted sampalok seeds peels

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

How To Make Dried Santol Peels : Food Souring Agent (Pampaasim)

The three common souring agents for cooking are sampalok, kamias and santol. I mean fruits, so I never included vinegar in list. Green mango is sour too but I have never heard someone using it as pampaasim sa sinigang. I can try it later maybe.


There was a food preparation that uses raw mango as souring agent. It was coming back to me but still vague.


Whenever sampalok is needed for cooking, a commercial instant cube version is available. I think it was Knorr Sinigang sa Sampalok. Kamias wa.s also available in dry form. It can be bought from public markets. She use this often for sinaing na tulingan.

Big brother loves cooking ginataang labong (young banana shoots cooked in coconut milk). He adds santol seeds and peel to give the dish a sour kick. But, santol is only available for a limited period, at the start of the rainy season.

Santol peels are edible. Taste is a sharp kick of extreme sourness that last for few seconds. In my previous experiment, Sweetened Santol Peels, I noticed that taste of boiled peel extract is good. I thinks its sourness will fit for many kind of dish – especially sinigang.

Now, the idea is to make dried santol peels so it will be available whenever we need it. It will also add value to inexpensive fruit.

I already prepared the peels for drying. I removed the seeds. Scraped inner soft part. Peeled off the outer skin and sliced to desired sizes. The  drying schedule is today but it is raining all day long. I placed the slices inside refrigerator. I will continue the experiment on next sunny day.

slice santol peels

update as of june 12, 2011

Today is Sunday and a sunny day. Perfect for drying santol peels.

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update as of june 17, 2011

The peels was ready after three days of full sun drying. She used it to cooked pinaasiman na uguraming dagat – fish.

dried santol peels

uguraming dagat pinaasiman

It taste great!

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.