Tamarind and Palm Sugar Popsicles With Chili Salt Recipe

Vicky Wasik

Why This Recipe Works

  • A touch of gelatin gives the popsicles a tender, icy bite.
  • Adding a measured amount of ice to the hot base quickly chills and dilutes it.
  • Malic acid is added to the chili salt for a mouthwatering hit of acid.

If you grew up on the salty and spicy tamarind-flavored candy Pelon Pelo Rico, then you'll love these popsicles, which are inspired by the sticky, sweet treat. The biggest challenge of this recipe is procuring the ingredients, but you can get most of them online. Palm sugar adds a caramelized sweetness to the tart tamarind concentrate that flavors these pops. Just before serving they're dipped in a perky chili salt spiked with malic acid for a tongue curling bite.

Recipe Details

Tamarind and Palm Sugar Popsicles With Chili Salt Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 9 hrs
Serves 10 popsicles


  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin

  • 2 pieces (4.3 ounces; 120gpalm sugar

  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces; 40g) tamarind concentrate (no sugar added)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne powder

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon malic acid (see note)


  1. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup (120ml) room temperature water and set aside to bloom.

  2. Using a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan, crush the palm sugar into small pieces. In a small sauce pot, combine the palm sugar with 1 cup (240ml) water and heat, stirring occasionally, just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin mixture and tamarind concentrate. Add an additional 8 ounces (240g) ice by weight or 1 cup of ice water by volume to dilute and chill the popsicle base.

  3. Divide evenly among 10 (3-fluid-ounce) popsicle molds and freeze until just beginning to firm, about 30 minutes. Insert popsicle sticks and continue freezing until completely solid, about 8 hours. To un-mold, dunk molds in hot tap water for a few seconds and jiggle sticks to release. Wrap individually in plastic and freeze for up to 3 weeks.

  4. For the chili salt, in a small bowl combine the cayenne, sugar, salt, and malic acid. Dip the edge of each popsicle into the chili salt before serving.


Malic acid is a natural fruit acid. It has a softer acidity than citric acid, providing just enough tart punch without actually punching you in the mouth.

Special Equipment

Popsicle molds

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
60 Calories
0g Fat
15g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 60
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 213mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 34mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)