On a scorching summer afternoon, how about a glass of homemade, natural, hydrating ‘Solkadhi’? Wondering what this is? Well…this fuchsia-toned beverage, a staple from the western coast of India, is a concoction of the tropical super-fruit ‘kokum’, alongside a host of spices.
A fruit of the garcinia indica tree, kokum is known to produce a hydrating and cooling impact on the body, besides protecting against sunstroke, promoting weight loss, increasing metabolism, and combating inflammation and constipation.
Since aeons now, home chefs from traditional families in western India have been sourcing the purplish-black dried kokum rinds and blending it with readily available ingredients like coconut milk, chillies, cumin and salt to create the solkadhi, which is a melange of flavours like sweet, tangy, spicy and sour. This beverage is served as a welcome drink, or as an appetizer before the start of a meal to promote digestion and cool down the body, although some food aficionados prefer to sip it post a hearty repast. Either way, the solkadhi is an easy preparation, something you can try at home in minutes.
We’ve curated a super quick recipe for you here which doesn’t require much cooking and needs to be consumed within a few hours of preparation.
8-10 dried kokum rinds
½ tsp green chillies – more or less depending on your spice preferences
1 cup or 250 ml of coconut milk
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp oil
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnishing
Soak kokum in a bowl of warm water for upto 30 minutes. Later, squeeze the rinds to extract the kokum water. Re-soak the kokum and repeat the process if you need, to get more of the kokum extract. Next, mix the kokum water with the coconut milk, add in salt and give it a stir.
For the seasoning, add oil to a pan, and temper in the chillies and cumin seeds. Add this to the kokum beverage once it cools down. Garnish with coriander and serve.
…And relish every sip!!