Sweltering summers mean our body needs cooling foods that balance our salt-to-water ratio and keep energy levels stable. My grandmother swears by kokum in summers. Whether it is kokum sharbat, solkadhi or simple Maharashtrian recipes with kokum, she claims, it can expel heat, counter acidity and relieve sunstroke.
So here’s a roundup of three traditional Maharashtrian recipes with Kokum you must try this summer. Happy Cooking!
1. Okra in Kokum curry
This flavourful aromatic curry tastes great with hot chapattis or even rice. And the addition of Kokum gives it a tanginess we all love so much!
Step 1: Soak 2-3 kokum rinds in hot water for 15 minutes. Save the water. Wash about 250 gms of okra and cut them an inch long. Fry them off in 1 tsp oil till golden brown or lightly crispy. Add 1 tsp lemon juice. Keep aside.
Step 2: Roast 1 tsp each of coriander seeds, chanda dal and cumin seeds, 2 tsp each of urad dal and fresh coconut, 1 dry red chili and 1 sprig of curry leaves. Once cool, add the kokum extract and ¼ inch of ginger and grind into a fine paste.
Step 3: In another pan heat 1 tsp oil and fry off this paste till oil leaves the sides. Add 1 tbs jaggery (or sugar) and some turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste. Let it fry for another couple of minutes on very low flame.
Step 4: Add 120 ml water to this and let it boil on medium heat for 2 mins. Add the fried okra and boil for another 2 mins. Adjust consistency of curry by boiling it more or adding more water.
Okra in Kokum curry is ready!
2. Kokum Saar
I remember having this as a part of our meals with masale bhaat when I was still living with my mother. A cooling drink that is tangy, sweet and packs a punch with flavors of ginger and garlic.
Step 1: Soak half a bowl of kokum rind in warm water (just enough to submerge the kokum).
Step 2: Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add ½ tsp cumin seeds and let it crackle. Add 1 tsp mixture of ground ginger, garlic and green chilli paste. Add 1 tbs sugar and salt to taste.
Step 3: Crush the kokum rinds in the water it has been soaking in. Add this water to the pan. (Keep heat on low). Once it comes to a boil, add one bowl of thick coconut milk (incase milk curdles, add some rice powder immediately, it will keep the consistency right)
Step 4: Let it boil till the consistency is thick (should take about 2-3 mins) Turn off the heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving with steamed rice or masale bhaat.
3. Kokum Fish Curry
This curry is more popular along the konkan belt, but I had to include it for its amazingly versatile flavors and my love for fish.
Choose Bangda, Surmai or Pomfret for this recipe.
Step 1: Grind 1 cup grated fresh coconut, 6-7 red chilies, 2-3 kokum rinds and a pinch of turmeric to form a very fine paste.
Step 2: Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the paste you created earlier to this. Once properly cooked, add some water to get the correct consistency of gravy. Let it come to a rolling boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Now add around 10 pieces of the fish of your choice (we prefer fillets) to the pan. Keep cooking on simmer till the fish changes its color to white. It can take 5-10 minutes for the fish to cook.
Step 4: Add some sugar to balance the tartness of kokum. And serve with rice.
Delectable Kokum Fish Curry is ready!
I’m sure there are some more amazing kokum recipes out there. Do you remember any of those rare recipes? Share with us! Sharing is caring! 🙂
Feature image credit: myjhola.in