Last Updated : Mar 29,2020
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Also known as
Cocum, Dried Kokum
What is Kokum? Kokum has has been known as Grandma’s cure to acidity. It primarily grows in the Western Ghats, especially the Goa and Konkan region. It is a small fruit like cherry tomato which is red in colour and deepens to purple on ripening. While this fresh variety is available, its dried variety made after drying the ripened fruit is commonly sold and has culinary uses too. It has a sour taste with a faintly sweet aroma.
The sun-dried version is called aamsul, kokum or kokam, and is used mainly in Maharashtrian, Konkan and Gujarati cuisine. When added to food it imparts a pink to purple colour and sweet/sour taste. It is a preferred substitute for tamarind in curries and other dishes.
Semi-dried kokum needs to be soaked in water to extract the pulp, which is added to foods to impart a sour flavour. The process is similar to that used to extract tamarind pulp from dried tamarind.
How to select Kokum
• Similar to tamarind, kokum is usually available as dried rind or fruit.
• Look for a deep colour. Deeper the colour, better the kokum.
• If buying from bulk bins, make sure it is covered appropriately to prevent dust and debris from settling on it.
• Smell it slightly if possible. It should not have any tell-tale smell of spoilage (which could indicate the kokum was not dried properly before selling).
Culinary uses of Kokum
• It is used mainly in the regional cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra and other places of the Konkan coast.
• In Goa, Maharashtra, and other nearby states, large glasses of kokum sherbet are served in the summer months to beat the heat.
• Kokum has the same souring qualities as tamarind, especially enhancing coconut-based curries, dals, and vegetable dishes involving potatoes, okra, etc.
• It is also included in chutneys and pickles. When doing so, the skins are not usually chopped but are added whole to the dish. Seasoning should be checked as they are quite salty. Beware of biting on a stone as a few are often left in the skins.
How to store Kokum
• You can store dried kokum in an airtight container for about a year.
6 Super Benefits of Kokum
1. Kokum – A Cure to Acidity : This is a legendary benefit of kokum promoted by Ayurveda. Acidity is a modern gift to mankind in today’s fast-paced life. Hurry, Worry and Curry are known to be the major cause of acidity. A chilled glass of Kokum Sherbat made with dried kokum, little sugar and salt / black salt will help to ease acidity burps. However too much sugar can aggravate acidity, thus keep a check on the usage of sugar.
2. Kokum – Good for Digestive Health : The extracts of the kokum is in its juice form are also known to relieve other gastric problems like indigestion and flatulence due to its anti-bacterial property. Kokum kills the harmful bacteria and protects the good bacteria of the gut, thus helping to ease stomach troubles.
Click here to know more about the 6 Super Benefits of Kokum.
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