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Kokum Sarbat

  • 4 cups ripe red Kokum or Amsool 
  • 5 cups Sugar 
  • 1/4 th teaspoon Black salt
  • !/4 th teaspoon fresh roasted Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt.

Wash and clean the kokums. Cut them into half. Mix the kokums and sugar in a dry bowl. Place this mixture in a dry glass jar. Let this sit in the sun for 15 days. A red syrup should form. Drain out the kokum sugar syrup. Add cumin powder, black salt and salt and stir well. Adjust sugar if needed. 

To make Kokum Sarbat :

In a glass pour 1/4th cup of Kokum concentrate. Top it up with ice cold water. Mix well. Serve chilled.

What is Kokum ?

Aamsool or Kokum is a fruit which resembles a dark purple plum of a tropical evergreen tree called Garcinia indica. This grows only in India. It is halved and dried. It is available in the dried form and it is dark purple to black, sticky and with curled edges resembling a thick plum skin. When added to food it imparts a pink to purple color and sweet as well as a sour taste. 

Among the major uses of kokum in Indian cooking are, as a garnish for curries and in the preparation of cooling syrups like the "Koakam Sarbat" or Kokum drink. 

Kokum has been known to counter acidity and indigestion. In India it is used only in the regional cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra and several southern states

How to use Kokum ? 

Similar to tamarind, kokum skins are used to add a certain kind of sourness to a dish. Kokum skins are usually infused in hot water and left to soak to become soft. The soft kokum skins are used whole to flavor a dish and the skins are removed before serving.  The deeper the color the better the kokum. 

The skins are not usually chopped but are added whole to the dish. Seasoning should be checked as they are quite salty as they are stored in a salt solution and set aside to cure. Beware of biting on a stone as a few are often left in the skins.

 Kokum especially enhances coconut-based curries or vegetable dishes like potatoes, okra or lentils. Kokum is especially used with fish curries, three or four skins being enough to season an average dish. It is also included in chutneys and pickles. 

It will keep in an airtight jar for about a year.

Kokum which is grown along the Konkan coast in Konkan, Malabar and Kanara regions of Western Maharashtra.

 

 

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