Indian summers are as much about the Kokum Juice or Kokum Sharbat, as they are about Shikanji, Mint Juice, Aam Panna and other classic beverages. This Kokum Juice recipe is a popular in Goan and Konkan households. Kokum Sharbat is also common at every store in Goa. A super coolant, try this easy Kokum Sharbat recipe for all things refreshing and rejuvenating for the body. I share the methods for making Kokum Juice syrup as well as Kokum Sharbat.
Table of Contents
What is Kokum
Kokum or Garcinia Indica belongs to the mangosteen family. Flourishing in the Western Ghats of India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, it is also known as ‘Vrikshamla’ in Ayurveda. It is considered as one of the most cooling fruits rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and other nutrients.
The kokum plant is a fast-growing tree bearing small and red color fruits, which are similar in size to that of cherry tomatoes or plums. The fruit can be consumed in its fresh form, minus the seeds or even dried and used in flavoring and adding a natural pink color to various Indian dishes.
The outer cover of the fruit is dried in the sun to get what we call as dried kokum or amsol. After drying, the blackish purple yield has a sour taste and a sweetish aroma.
This dried kokum is used as a souring agent in curries, dals and other vegetable dishes in Maharashtrian, Gujarati, Konkani, Kerala and Goan cuisines. It is also a primary ingredient to sour fish and prawn curries in Malvani and Goan cuisines.
The cooling kokum curry or Solkadhi is a quintessential summer accompaniment. Apart from this, I also use kokum to prepare the Kokum Sharbat recipe, Khatti Meethi Dal and Sorak Curry at home.
More On This Kokum Juice
I usually avoid buying the readymade Kokum Juice as I find it overly sweet. It also has white sugar added in huge quantities that I like to avoid. Thus, I’ve been relying on my homemade Kokum Juice recipe since a long time.
Usually, I make the Kokum Sharbat from dried kokum. However, this Kokum Juice recipe is made from fresh kokum. If you have semi dry or dried kokum too, this recipe is as good enough.
When you slice the kokum into two, there’ll be the outer cover and the soft pulp inside with the seeds. The outer shell has a very sour and mild sweet taste and the inner pulp is extremely sour.
Make sure to discard the seeds, then blend the pulp and chopped outer cover and strain the mixture. Cool and add it to a thick sugar syrup.
Whether to spice this Kokum Sharbat recipe or no with some cumin and cardamom, is entirely your choice. I like it this way, so I usually add them.
The best way to store this Kokum Juice is to refrigerate the mixture in airtight jar or bottles. While serving, mix about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the kokum mixture in one glass of water. Top with ice cubes and sip on to beat the summer heat!
Health Benefits of Kokum
The very native to India fruit kokum, is not just a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but is also low in fats and calories. This Kokum Juice or Kokum Sharbat is one of the best ways you can consume this nutritious fruit.
Below are some of the many health benefits of kokum.
- It is one of the best natural coolants for the body and elevates the mood instantly.
- This fruit has digestive properties and helps improving the appetite. Thus, Kokum Curry and Kokum Juice are great accompaniments during or after a meal.
- As per Ayurveda, kokum is excellent in reducing the ‘pitta dosha’ in the human body.
- Consumption of kokum safeguards us from the risk of cancer, helps in reducing depression and anxiety.
- Kokum is great for people with diabetes and highly effective for the heart and skin too.
- Kokum is also used to treat heat rash and cracked heels. On a side note, I remember my mom rubbing kokum on the heat rashes which we would get as kids.
- Don’t overcook the sugar syrup as this may result in a charred flavor in the juice. Also, adjust the quantity of sugar according to the sourness of the kokum fruit.
- You have to discard the seeds of the kokum fruit before grinding the pulp.
- You can make this Kokum Juice recipe with dried kokum too. However, it might lead to a difference in taste as compared to the one made with fresh kokum.
- Make sure to cool the sugar syrup before adding the strained kokum mixture to it.
- You can use jaggery instead of sugar to make this Kokum Sharbat recipe healthier.
- Depending on your taste preferences, you can skip the cumin powder and the cardamom powder.
- The Kokum Sharbat stays good for about 6 months to one year as it is made with sugar syrup. Make sure to store it in a clean jar or bottle.
- The best way to serve Kokum Juice is chilled with ice cubes. In case you don’t want to do so, you can use chilled water to dissolve the kokum syrup and consume it immediately.
- You can freeze the Kokum Sharbat into ice cubes or popsicles for cooling, refreshing treats.
The charred taste in the Kokum Juice can be due to overcooking of the sugar syrup. Dried kokum will not result in a charred taste.
Sugar syrup-based beverages can be stored for a long time as the concentrated sugar syrup acts as a preservative. If only sugar is added, then the shelf life decreases considerably.
You can store this Kokum Sharbat for about 6 months to one year in the refrigerator since it uses sugar syrup and not just sugar.
Semi dried kokum can be stored for about a year. However, completely dried kokum stays good for a couple of years.
Kudampuli or Malabar tamarind is not same as kokum. Though, both are used as souring agents.
Unlike commercially produced syrups or squashes, preservatives are not added in homemade ones. So, it is best to refrigerate the syrup.
More Beverages To Try!
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Kokum Juice Recipe | Kokum Sharbat
- 1 cup kokum fruit chopped, or 1 cup dried kokum
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 to 6 green cardamoms – powdered or crushed
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 to 2 pinches black salt or salt, optional
- Rinse the kokum fruits in water. (See notes below on making the sharbat from dried kokum).
- Chop the kokum fruits and remove the seeds.
- Keep the pulp and the outer cover.
- Grind or blend the fruit and pulp with little water in a mixer-grinder or blender to a fine consistency.
- Strain the kokum mixture.
- Boil the sugar and water until the syrup becomes a little thick and sticky. It can be ½ string consistency.
- Cool the sugar syrup and then add the strained kokum mixture to it.
- Add the roasted cumin powder and powdered cardamom.
- Mix well. Store Kokum Juice in a clean jar or bottle and refrigerate.
- When serving, dissolve 1 or 2 tablespoons Kokum Juice in one glass of water.
- Add ice cubes and serve chilled.
How to make Kokum Juice from dried kokum
- Rinse the dried kokum in water.
- Soak them in 2 cups of water for 3 to 4 hours.
- Collect the kokum in a blender and reserve the water. Keep this soaked water aside.
- Grind or blend them with some of the reserved water to a smooth mixture in a mixer-grinder or blender. Strain and set aside.
- Boil sugar with the remaining reserved water till the syrup looks little thick and sticky.
- Cool the sugar syrup and add the strained kokum paste to it.
- Add the powdered cardamom and cumin powder.
- Mix well and store in an airtight bottle or jar in the refrigerator. If you do not want to make sugar syrup, then just dissolve the sugar in the kokum extract. In this case, you don’t need 2 cups of water. Just 1 cup water can be used to soak the dried kokum and then grind them to a smooth paste. Also, you will need 1 cup sugar or add as needed. But with this method, the shelf life will be considerably reduced.
This Kokum Juice Recipe from the archives first published in May 2012 has been republished and updated on November 2022.
Comments are closed.
Hi, thank you for sharing the recipe. I tried with dry kokums. It is nice but getting little bit charred taste of kokum. Is it because I boiled it too long while making sugar syrup? I made sugar syrup by adding sugar to kokum water. Shall i make sugar syrup separately in normal water first and then add to kokum mixture? In this case how much quantity of water you suggest? Thank you.
Welcome. The charred taste could be due to overcooking of the sugar syrup. Dried kokum will not give that charred taste. It is better to cook everything together as then the sugar helps in preserving the syrup. Cooking the syrup separately and then adding to kokum mixture will introduce some water in the syrup and can spoil the syrup while storing. The rawness of the kokum will also not go away with this method.
Hello.. Amazing recepie.. Thanks…I had a question.. How long can the prepared sherbet be stored? And what’s the difference in making sugar syrup and adding sugar directly
anannya, this can be stored for about 6 months to 1 year if refrigerated. sugar syrup based sherbets or drinks can be stored for a long time as the concentrated sugar syrup acts as preservative. if just sugar is added, then the shelf life decreases considerably. so in this case, the sherbet will stay good for some days or about a week.
For how long can semi dried kokum be stored ? Any info on that ?
for a year i think. the completely dried ones stay good for a couple of years.
face book: this fruit is very good for health particularly for dia betics
all can use this and it i svery tasty and good for the heAlth
I have a question about the recipe that describes how to proceed if having using dried Kokum, in STEP 6 it says to mix sugar syrup with mixture , so after grinding the soaked Kokum , we mix the whole grinded paste to the sugar syrup. Confused if should strain it first or not.
the mixture needs to be strained. i will add this bit in the steps too.
I made this kokum sharnat today and I must say that it changed my opinion about how kokul sharbat tastes actually. My husband always orders kokum cooler at a specific restaurant whenever we go there as he loves it but I never liked that taste. I tried your recipe for my husband so that he can get it at home but it was smelling so good that I could not resist and had a glass of it. It was amazing. Its so good. I just loved it. I am following your blog for quite sometime now and I love each and every recipe of yours. I think for the housewives like us who are not good cooks, ur blog makes a lot of difference.
we are very pleased to know this neha 🙂 thankyou so much for your kind and positive words. glad we could help you in learning new recipes and cooking and you are always welcome.
I love your recipes and your presentation. Simply wonderful.
thanks krishna. glad to know this.
Hello Chef. Went through your recipe of making kokum sherbat and have some queries related to it.Recently my son went to Shirdi &bought Half kg of fresh kokam smeared with salt. Want to know how to wash them to remove salt from them , to prepare the sherbet so that it can be stored and preserved for the summers (without keeping in the fridge).Secondly, how many bottles of half kg. Ketchup bottles can be made from these kokum. Hope to have a prompt and positive reply fr om your side on the a bove mentioned e-mail. Thanks. Rewa.
i don’t think you can make kokum sherbet with salted kokum. the ones which i had were not salted. i have also never tried this way. so unable to help you.
your recipes are simply amazing. thanks to you for all this wonderful work.
i have heard that in ayurveda they recommend that we replace kokum with tomatoes in our usual cooking. so, my questions if whether we need to grind kokum and store in fridge for later use (like tomato puree?) . can we something like a onion tomato bhuna masala but with kokum instead?
need your guidance please.
no need to grind kokum. you just add whole kokum in the recipe while cooking. 2 to 3 kokums is enough for a serving of 4 people. if ground kokum is added, it will make the dish sour. you can keep the kokum in the fridge or at room temperature.
how to make a south indian recipe named rasam which is made by garlic. One more how to prepare a sweet tomato chutney?
will try to add.
My question is about losing weight.What is the difference in the content of HCA..hydroxicitric acid (which helps lose weight) between. Kokum which is called garcenia indica and garcenia cambogia which is called kodumpalli. Can I get kodumpalli in ahmedabad? Please see Dr. Oz on you tube on garcenia cambogia
i do not know what is the difference in the content of HCA. it will be not easy to get kodumpalli in ahmedabad.
Garcinia cambogia, Kudampuli (Gambooge), Malabar temrind,used in kerala to make fish curry,curry ext is same as this kokam or both are different?
as being an gujarati we use brown color kocum some times black color kocum ,i was wanted to know diffrance and its medicinal value if u know please reply.
kudampuli is different and has a different taste & flavor. both kokum and kudampuli are not same. though both are used as souring agents. the color of the kokum depends on the kind and variety of kokum. apart from being cooling to the body, kokum helps to balance an aggravated pitta dosha. here are some more health benefits – http://completewellbeing.com/article/tangyble-kokum/
I am sure you definitely have some Goa connection . As most Goan dishes which you mentioned mostly Goans know about it.
I loved your blog. I do not know from where to start but I will prepare Mattar paneer first.
Keep up your good work. God bless you
thanks sandy. you are right. my mother is from goa. keep visiting.
its very nice,healthy,tasty
The recipe is simple. If I use the dry kokum, do I have to refrigerate the syrup?
always better to refrigerate any syrup that we make at home. since like commercially produced syrup or squashes we don’t add preservatives at home. so my suggestion would be to refrigerate the syrup.
Can I preserve fresh kokum for use later on?
you can preserve fresh kokum. generally the rind is sun dried and preserved with salt. you can check on google how exactly this method is achieved.
Thanks. I have brought th efruits and want to “take care ” of them asap. This is what I had in mind.
Loved the recipe and your photos.
I had always known about wat is called aamsul. But came to know about the fruit just a few years back.
Can you please tell me wat the fruit is called in India.
I have this drink in summers..
i am sorry manjari, i did not understand your question clearly.
which fruit are you talking about?
i made the sherbet yesterday..it tastes so good even my hubby liked it..i used the dry kokum..thanks dassana
thats cool suhani…. thanks for sharing.
hey dassana how much dry kokum should i take for making the sharbat..
same amount… 1 cup dry kokum… have mentioned it in the recipe details already 🙂
Simply loved the color of the drink, it looks so refreshing!
Really refreshing. And superb pictures
Gorgeous drink and a gorgeous color too! I love this drink. I use a lot of kokum in my cooking since my hubby ‘s family is originally from Goa.
What a beautiful colour!
I knew about dry kokum and use in cooking. but ever seen fresh kokum fruit. I doubt that I can find it in USA here. I khow you said that this can be made using dry kokum but I am curious to use fresh one. I love the color of drink. must be tasting awesome.
the taste of the sherbet was fresh. quite different than the one made with dry kokums. i don’t think you will be able to get fresh kokum in USA 🙁