Barbados Tamarind Balls, also known as tamarind sweets in some regions, are a beloved snack in the Caribbean island of Barbados, celebrated for their sweet and tangy flavor. Made from the fruit of the tamarind tree, these treats are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients, offering a rich source of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories and fat.

These delightful confections are a staple in street markets and local shops throughout Barbados. The preparation involves cooking tamarind pulp with sugar and water until it thickens into a sticky mixture. This mixture is then shaped into small balls and coated with grated coconut and sesame seeds, adding a crunchy texture and a nutty, savory flavor that complements the sweetness of the tamarind.

Barbados Tamarind Balls stand out due to their unique flavor profile. The natural sweetness and sourness of tamarind pulp blend harmoniously with the added sugar, creating a complex and delightful taste. The coating of coconut and sesame seeds enhances this experience with additional layers of flavor and texture.

Nutritionally, tamarind balls are a powerhouse. Tamarind is rich in antioxidants, vitamins such as B1, B2, and C, and minerals including magnesium and potassium. These components contribute to overall health, supporting immune function, energy metabolism, and heart health. Moreover, the high dietary fiber content in tamarind aids digestion and helps maintain a feeling of fullness, making these balls a satisfying snack.

The history of tamarind balls in Barbados reflects the island's vibrant culinary traditions. Tamarind trees have been part of the Caribbean landscape for centuries, and their fruit has been utilized in various traditional recipes. Tamarind balls are an excellent representation of how local ingredients are transformed into beloved treats that are enjoyed by both locals and visitors alike.


1- 1 cup of tamarind pulp

2- 1 cup of sugar

3- 1/2 cup of water

4- 1/4 cup of grated coconut

5- 1/4 cup of sesame seeds

Here are the step-by-step instructions to make Barbados Tamarind Balls:

1- Begin by removing the seeds from the tamarind pulp. You can do this by placing the pulp in a bowl of warm water and using your fingers to separate the seeds from the flesh.

2- Next, place the tamarind pulp in a large pot along with the sugar and water. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved.

3- Cook the mixture over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture should become thick and sticky.

4- Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

5- Once the mixture has cooled, use your hands to form it into small balls.

6- Roll the tamarind balls in the grated coconut and sesame seeds, making sure to coat them evenly.

7- Allow the tamarind balls to cool completely before serving.

Some tips to keep in mind when making Barbados Tamarind Balls:

1- You can adjust the amount of sugar you use based on your personal taste preferences.

2- Be careful not to overcook the tamarind mixture, as it can become too thick and difficult to work with.

3- If the mixture is too sticky to handle, you can lightly grease your hands with oil to make it easier to form the balls.

Nutrition Value for Barbados Tamarind Balls:

Serving size: 1 tamarind ball

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 1g

Here are the approximate nutritional values for the listed ingredients per serving:

1. Tamarind Pulp (1 cup)

  • Calories: 287
  • Carbohydrates: 75g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 47g
  • Fat: 0.7g
  • Protein: 3g


  • -Rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium.
  • -Contains antioxidants that help fight inflammation and protect against diseases.
  • -May aid in digestion and improve heart health.

2. Sugar (1 cup):

  • Calories: 774
  • Carbohydrates: 200g
  • Sugar: 200g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 0g


  • -Provides a quick source of energy.
  • -Can enhance the flavor and texture of foods.
  • -However, excessive consumption can lead to health issues like weight gain and tooth decay.

3. Water (1/2 cup):

  • Calories: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 0g


  • -Essential for hydration and overall health.
  • -Helps regulate body temperature and supports digestion.

4. Grated Coconut (1/4 cup):

  • Calories: 71
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Protein: 1g


  • -Contains healthy fats that can improve cholesterol levels and promote heart health.
  • -Rich in fiber, which aids in digestion and helps you feel full.
  • -Provides vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc.

Sesame Seeds (1/4 cup):

  • Calories: 206
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Protein: 7g


  • -High in healthy fats, particularly omega-6 fatty acids.
  • -Good source of plant-based protein.
  • -Rich in antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on the specific brand or type of ingredient used.

The nutrition information may vary based on the specific ingredients used and the serving size of the tamarind balls.


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