Saturday, 14 June 2014

Kokum / Sol Kadhi

When ever I go through any recipe blog, it always has a story behind each recipe. But I never had any story behind any of my recipes. I always wondered how bloggers associate their recipes with stories. And now I too have story linked to this ever pink refreshing Sol/Kokum Kadhi recipe. I feel like a part of a pack now J.

Sol/Kokum Kadhi always makes me nostalgic. It takes me to the memory lane of my childhood. This was when we used to stay in Mumbai’s open door culture of residency. Neighbors were just like our family members, we shared each other joys and sorrows. We reached out to each other whenever in need. It was like a huge family with different cultures and castes.

I was introduced to this amazing pink colour beverage by one of my neighbor. This family was very unique from others on our floor. The family consisted of 99% elderly members, most of them were in their 60’s and 70’s. They were like my grannies and grandpa. I being in my early childhood was obviously pampered by all of them J . My mom says I was mostly spotted in their house nibbling something, may be my foodie nature was developed because of their pampering me with food J . They used to cook simple and finger licking dishes, without any exotic or rich ingredients. Yet the food used to be extremely delicious and it always used to attract me toward them. I remember whenever the clock struck the lunch time, I used to run to their house and the most inviting yet simple thali was already set for me. Sol/Kokum Kadhi was every day on the menu and I used to relish it with plain steamed rice and also as a drink. It was one of my favorite dish in the thali. All my grannies knew this and they used to serve me with all their love. I remember watching them grind the coconut, garlic and chilli into fine paste on a grinding stone and squeezing out the coconut milk. No electronic gadgets were used, everything was manual. Whenever any new dish was made in their house, I was invited or it was sent home for me. I have learnt some amazing recipes from them, now only gadgets have change but rest remains the same. However couldn't match them, they were the best cooks ...

Seeing me relishing the food at their house, my mom used to make the same dish at home with lots of healthy ingredients like mava, dry fruits etc. But it was only their food I used to enjoy eating, which used to upset my mom many times. God knows what magical ingredients they used to add in their dishes, that even the simplest of the dish tasted heavenly, may be lots and lots of love or a taste of hand. I guess lots of Love, anyway its been said that grandchildren are always most closest to their grandparents, isn't it???

Now, they are no more but their memories are always fresh in mind. Over the period of time those memories were slightly overlooked due to commitments, stress, workload etc... but never faded.

So when  Mariza Cardoz one of the member of KCCB requested for the Kokum kadhi recipe, Gastronomic Flight got an opportunity to pen down those thoughts.

So here is the Kokum/Sol Kadhi recipe in courtesy of my grannies:

5-6 Kokum
1 cup scrap fresh coconut
1 green chilly or as per taste
1-2 garlic cloves
salt to taste
coriander for garnishing


Soak kokum in 1 cup warm water for 15 -20 mins. Grind scraped fresh coconut, garlic and green chilly with little water to smooth soft paste.  Now squeeze this grounded mixture through muslin cloth or fine strainer to get chilly-garlic coconut milk. Repeat the same process 2 or 3 times (depending on the density of the coconut).  Strain and squeeze out the kokum soaked in water completely. You will get beautiful dark red colour kokum extract or juice, which is sour. Discard the kokum as all the flavor is now in the water.  Mix this kokum water to the coconut milk. Add salt to taste and mix well.  Garnish with chopped coriander and serve chilled.

Optional Suggestion

1) Some add sugar to taste, but I personally don’t like it sweet so I avoid sugar. And my grannies too never added sugar, so I follow their recipe. If you like you may add 1/2 or 1 tsp sugar (as per taste).
2) Some add tempering to the Kadhi : Heat 1tsp oil add ½ tsp mustard seed, ½ tsp jeera. When the mustard seed starts spluttering add pinch of asafoetida, curry leaves and 1 dry red chilly (optional).  Pour this tempering on to the prepared Kokum Kadhi.  
3) You can even grind the soaked kokum along with the cocount, garlic and chillies and then follow the same method as above. But please note in this case the colour will not be pink, it will be some what pinkish violet. 
4) Now this a instant version of Sol/Kokum kadhi, Instead of coconut or coconut milk use buttermilk. And follow the above method. 

Which ever options you choose from the above methods, the kadhi tastes best when served chilled.