i was just checking the recipes i have added under the goan cuisine and to my dismay they are very less. the reason being, i mostly cook north indian food coz the hubby likes it. there are very few times when i make something which i have grown up having. for me to make anything goan or konkani is like a risk as i do not know if my husband will like it or not.
since the temperatures have increased, i have decided to make a lot of indian coolers and even post about them. starting with a drink i have grown up having frequently during the mumbai summers – the goan kokum curry. at home we call it kokum curry and sometimes also as sol kadi/kadhi.
go to any local restuarant in goa….nah… not the beach shacks… the proper local indigenous restaurants which serve proper goan food. have any thali there – veg or fish or non-veg thali and in the thali, you will see a dark pink colored drink in a vati/small bowl. it is the kokum curry.
the kokum curry is a part of the goan, konkan and malvani thali. it is served as a digestive and also as a cooler. the thali below is a very basic and simple thali. usually there are way too many dishes in a thali. sometimes chilies are eaten raw in some of the indian thalis. below i used for pictorial purpose only.
by the way the shacks do serve goan food, but don’t expect a kokum curry there. they don’t have thalis and the food is catered to the likes of the foreign tourists.
kokum also known as garcinia indica is a fruit bearing plant from the mangosteen family. the plant yields dark red colored fruit.
has anyone had ripe kokum fruits anytime? they are amazing with a sweet sour taste. we would have the kokum fruits with salt. unfortunately i do not have the pics of ripe kokum to display.
the outer cover of the fruit is dried in the sun to get what we call as kokum or aamsol. after drying they yield blackish purple color. they are sour to taste and have a sweetish aroma.
they add a dark purple hue to the dish that you make and also make it slightly sour along with a slight sweet aroma of the kokum in the dish. i am so good at knowing if the a particular curry or dal has been flavored and soured by tamarind or kokum without even tasting it. just the aroma tells me all.
the kokum is used in the goan/malvan fish and prawn curries as a souring agent. it is also used in the maharashtrian, gujarati and kerala cuisine. we also make squashes of the kokum and its known as kokum sherbet. its excellent to get rid of the heat in the body and also serves to reduce the pitta dosha as per ayurdeda. kokum sherbet is also good for digestion. it also helps in reducing the summer rash and itchiness.
actually it is very easy to get kokum if you stay in the southern parts and western coast of india. but if you stay in the north, then it is not so easy. when living in delhi, i had a tough time finding kokum anywhere, especially when the delhi heat used to be at its peak.
it really surprises me why they are not sold in the northern and central regions of india where the heat is such a killer. the kokum fruit is so good as a summer cooler. may be its got to do with the taste habits of people. there are many things from the north of india that i don’t get to buy in goa and vice versa.
the kokum curry can be made with coconut milk or without coconut milk. i am posting my mom’s recipe of kokum curry made with coconut milk. i will post the no coconut milk version also soon. at home we always temper the curry, but it is not essential.
at home i would always have the kokum curry with rice and with a side bean or veggie dish. i simply love it this way. but you can also drink if after the lunch as it aids in the digestion of food and keeps your body cool.
the recipe is easy too and all you have to make is only the coconut milk at home or use the ready made ones. alongwith soaking the kokum in water for 30 minutes. straining and squeezing them completely and you get a beautiful pinkish red colored kokum extract which is sour… i mean really sour.
add some more water and coconut milk to the kokum extract. temper and there you are done. the curry is ready in 10 minutes apart from soaking and if using ready coconut milk. if you make the coconut milk, then add some more 1o minutes and the kokum curry is done in 20 minutes.
for all those who have never had kokum in their lives, please try this marvellous indian fruit. it is amazing. the kokum curry is sour and if you like sour, you will like the curry too. the coconut milk does reduce the sourness, but not that much. it is a nice blend of the light & mild coconut milk with a sour kokum tempered with indian spices.
you can serve the sol kadhi immediately after tempering or else keep in the fridge and then serve cold. leftover kokum curry should be kept in the fridge. the coconut milk get spoiled in the hot weather, hence refrigerate the kokum curry. some more interesting facts, nice pics of the kokum tree and fruits and an informative post by the fantastic shilpa of aayisrecipes here.
enjoy making and having the kokum curry in the hot indian summers.