Kokum, the summer essential. Packed with flavour, vitamin C and that oh to die for shade of violet. Though we all seemingly love this ingredient, we don’t give it much importance or explore it further than the sol kadhi, sherbet or the odd couple of kokums in a curry to add that tangy freshness. So, I thought, why not make it a hero for some summer suppers? It’s cooling, it’s zesty and a super summer cooler. Here are five dishes that make kokum shine…
We all love pannacottas and this one’s special. Take about 4 to 5 pods of dried kokum. Add to it chopped green chillies, whole jeera, coriander seeds and leaves, curry leaves, garlic and ginger. Add 2 cups of water and salt (to taste) and sugar (2 tbsp). Bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 mins and strain.
Now, take 1 cup of coconut cream and add 2 tsp of gelatine to it and warm, while stirring until the gelatine dissolves. Add the strained kokum and spice mix. Stir it in. Pour into moulds and freeze, covered with foil for 3 hours. Demould and serve with a garnish of coriander leaves. And Kokum Pannacotta is ready to be devoured!
Kokum and Coconut Savoury Modaks
Who said modaks can only be had on Ganesh Chaturthi? Make your own modaks and wow the Punekars. In a cup of water boil 3 to 4 pods of kokum. Take out the kokum pods and finely chop them. Now in a pan, add 1 tbsp ghee, cumin seeds, 1 finely chopped onion, chopped green chillies, a cup of grated coconut and salt to taste. Stir fry until the coconut is nice and golden.
Add in the chopped kokum. Stir fry for a couple more minutes. Knead the rice dough with the kokum water, with a tiny bit of salt and cumin powder. Make tiny balls. Roll out each ball and add the stuffing into the centre and fold (as well as you can) and steam it. Serve it with a green chutney or ketchup if you’re lazy!
Kokum Thai Curry Rolls
Again, boil 3 to 4 pods of kokum. Take the pods off and chop them. In a blender, add the kokum pods, pandan leaves, kafir lime leaves, garlic pods, green chillies, vegetable oil, grated ginger, fish sauce, grated coconut and cashews. Give it a good grind, till it all combines.
Now in a pan, add this mixture and stir fry it until it turns a slightly golden brown and you can smell the heavenly aroma. Knead with the kokum water, a dough with maida, or wheat flour. On a tawa, add 1 tsp. of ghee and toss the rolled out roti. Add a beaten and seasoned egg on top and a big helping of the stuffing. Seal and sear. Then, eat!
Kokum and Couscous Salad
Once again, boil those kokums and strain the liquid, keep it and chop up those pods. Take 1.5 cups of couscous. Add all the liquid from the kokum boiling. Add seasoning and chillies. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Add to it all the chopped veggies, or grilled chicken or sausages that you want. Add the chopped kokum pods. Combine with a fork and then, show off!
This one’s a keeper! Chop about 10 kokum pods. In a thick bottomed pan, add the chopped kokum, cumin seeds, 1 cup of sugar, a hint of salt, one grated apple and 2 cups of water. Boil it. And then reduce the flame and let it thicken until you can pull a line on the back of a spoon. Cool it, store it. This one stays for about a couple of months. Though I don’t think it’ll last that long!
So, go ahead and indulge. And while at that, be healthy!