Wonder of Kokum

Wonder of Kokum
Highlights

Wonder of Kokum. Unless you have visited the western coast of India or have been a guest for lunch or dinner in any Indian household, you probably have no idea about the taste of kokum.

Unless you have visited the western coast of India or have been a guest for lunch or dinner in any Indian household, you probably have no idea about the taste of kokum. People who have visited the Indian Western Ghats during summer timings are very lucky who often talks about the tasty, creamy pink drink unique to its area called as sol kadhi or kokum sherbet.

Kokum is from a lush ornamental fruit tree native to India. This tiny fruit emerges red amid large green foliage and turns a deep purple when ripen. It is then harvested and dried during the spring; it is just in time to feature the sol kadhi or kokam sherbet on the menu for the searing summer months. This drink is not only popular for its taste but also it helps to cool down the humid, tropic air. This is because of the medicinal property of kokum which helps preventing dehydration and sunstrokes due to summer.

Weight loss has been added up to the list of medicinal and health benefits of this wonderful fruit called kokum. This wonderful spice became staple in the Konkani cuisines, ayurvedic physicians used it to treat sores and prevent infection, improve digestion, stop diarrhea and constipation, soothe the sore joints of rheumatoid arthritis, cure ear infections and heals ulcer. It’s a folk remedy for fever and skin rashes.

Ancient ayurvedic physicians have used kokum successfully to treat and prevent stomach ulcer and various stomach related problems as it has a tendency to kill Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that is the chief cause of both gastric and peptic ulcer.

Researcher suggests that garcinol antioxidant strengthens the ability to promote brain health, which is most common antioxidant found in kokum. Taiwanese scientist found that seven days of treatment with garcinol promoted the growth of neurons in test tubes and stopped damage of neurons in test tube, and stopped damage from substances that can oxidize neurons. The reason why kokum is proving to be a stellar medicinal spice is because garcinol an antioxidant operates in such a diverse ways on the molecular levels. The recent researcher has concluded that garcinol is much more powerful than vitamin E. Kokum is not attractive in its appearance when compared to other spices, but as it is said that taste defines its looks.

While buying kokum buy it in small quantities and store it in jar with airtight lid. You will not know the quality of kokum till you submerge it in water. It should turn pink to purple. The deeper the colour the better is the quality.

Kokum is most commonly used in curries, dals, sambhars instead of emli and sol kadhi. It matches well with potatoes, okra, beans and lentils. It is also used in chutneys and pickles. Add ground kokum to yoghurt to give it an all together different taste. Grind and sprinkle it on cooked vegetables, soups, fruits to make a change in the regular taste.

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