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Tamarind Cola

Insight Editions
Cook Time:
5 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins
makes 2 cups syrup


  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon star anise
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 whole vanilla beans, split
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 large oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
  • ice and carbonated water, for serving

Chef notes

Many cola recipes require a brown syrup or coloring. This recipe uses tamarind as a natural flavoring and coloring. When young T'Challa and Shuri would have their special movie nights, a batch of this cola was made for them to accompany their snack of harissa popcorn.



In a small sauté pan, toast the cinnamon, coriander and anise over medium-high heat until aromatic, about 1 to 2 minutes.


Transfer to a small saucepan with the sugar, vanilla, water, orange zest, lime zest and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.


Remove from heat and whisk in orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, nutmeg and tamarind concentrate.


Pour 1/2 cup of syrup into a tall glass.


Fill halfway with ice.


Pour 1½ cups of carbonated water and stir.

Reprinted with permission from "Marvel’s Black Panther: The Official Wakanda Cookbook" by Nyanyika Banda. Insight Editions, 2022.