Kokum is a tropical evergreen tree, related to the mangosteens. A slender tree with sloping branches, the fruits are picked when ripe, the rind is then removed and soaked in the juice of the pulp and then sun-dried. Juice extracted from this fruit is sweet and sour and thus liked by many. Kokum is Indian name for fruit with scientific name – Garcinia Indica. It is also known by other names like Aamsul, Bindin, Bhiranda, katambi, lookiya, panarpuli, ratamba, thekera. Outer cover of dried Kokum fruit is often used as spice. It is often used to substitute tamarind in food. Kokum is definitely more healthy than tamarind. So, start using it regularly.
1. Acts as an antioxidant
Kokum is well-known for being a powerhouse of antioxidants. Filled with Vitamin C it boosts the immune system.
2. Acts as a coolant
Cool Kokum juice is quite refreshing in hot summer. It is helpful in prevention of heat strokes and sun exposure related symptoms. It is because of this property it works very well over acidity. It prevents loss of minerals during hot summer.
3. Improves Digestion
Kokum is a traditional home remedy in case of indigestion. Kokum enhances the health of our digestive system to a great extent. Digestive problems are very common amongst the people nowadays.
Tip: Dried Kokum along with pinch of salt and dried ginger is eaten as home remedy for indigestion. A glass of cold kokam syrup is refreshing and it also improves the digestive system.
4. Promotes weight loss
Kokum aids in weight loss by keeping you full isn’t that great? This is a really safe and all-natural way to shed a few extra fat.
5. Acts as a moisturizer
Still looking for the perfect moisturizer for your skin type? Then Kokum is a great for the skin. Due to its soothing and healing properties the pulp of this fruit provides instant relief to the skin problems. Apply to the skin directly, leave for 5-7 minutes, wash with water and pat dry with a towel. You can also use it to cure cracked heels and lips if you apply it over them regularly.
6. Boosts Immunity
Kokum has a substance called Garcinol which is the main reason for its ability to boost immunity. Garcinol is a powerful antioxidant which enhances the immunity of the body.
Sol kadhi is preparation using kokum and coconut milk as key ingredient and is very popular in Konkan and Goa regions in India. It goes well with rice and fish preparations.
Peels of Kokum, 2 cups of coconut milk, some garlic cloves and chillies.
Method: Soak some kokum peels in hot water for about an hour. Squeeze thick kokum concentrated juice from it. Blend cut coconut with water to obtain coconut milk. Make garlic and chilly paste, as per taste and spiciness required. Blend all mixtures. You will obtain light pink colour taste and healthy sol kadhi. Can be served chilled as beverage or consumed as curry along with steamed rice.
Peels of Kokum, water, Sugar, Cumin seeds, black salt
Method: Combine the semi-dried kokum and ½ cup of water in a bowl, mix well and keep aside for 30 minutes. Strain the kokum water and keep it aside. Blend the soaked kokum in a mixer using half the kokum water and blend till coarse. Keep aside. Combine the remaining half kokum water and sugar in a small non-stick pan, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Transfer the mixture into a deep bowl and allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, add coarse kokum mixture and mix well. Strain it using a strainer. Add the roasted cumin seeds powder, black salt and mix well.
How to Use / Directions
- It is used as marinate for fish recipes.
- Use as preservative in pickles.
- You can just use kokum instead of tamarind to make your rasam, sambar, in dals to bring out the tanginess.
- You can also make it into small pieces and add it to your salads.