Kokum is a dark purple colored fruit obtained from Garcinia indica, a tropical evergreen type of plant. Being cultivated in warm and moderated climate it is found extensively in Western parts of India and Malaysia. Almost all the parts of the tree, be it fruit, leaves or the seed, and have unique importance. The oilseed is, however, regarded as an essential cooking spice. Tasting sweet and sour kokum enhances the original flavors of the dish. The well known Kokum recipes are mainly the appetizing soups which are regarded as a remedy in diarrhoea and heart troubles.
Types of Kokum
The popular and improved variety is Kokum Amrita. Other available form is plain, salted, edible, Lonawala, Pakali and Khola kokum. Origin of Kokum Kokum has originated from the Southern Asia probably from the Western Indian region. Garcinia indica, the tropical evergreen tree it is derived from is found growing wildly in the forests of Goa, Western Ghats of Kerala or in parts of Maharashtra. The original name of the spice is derived from a Marathi word ‘Kokamb ‘and is also popular as mangostana.
Methods of Preparation for Kokum Recipes
The well known Kokum is the soup and rasam ,prepared by boiling the soaked syrup of the fruit and seasoned with cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, jaggery and salt. This kokum recipe is also famous as punarpuli saaru. A sensational kadhi is also prepared with the juice of the fruit. Later a tadka of cracked cumin seed, mustard seed, curry leaves and turmeric powder is added to give the awesome flavour. The popular sherbet is made with the oilseed which is preserved for later use.
Cuisines Commonly Making Kokum Recipes
Kokum recipes primarily associated with the south-western Indian states. It also has notable value in the cuisines of some countries like UK, US, Canada, Australia and Middle East. The importance of the oilseed is recognized worldwide. These days it is exported to several western countries from India in the form of fruit, syrup and oil. Preferable Methods of Cooking Kokum Kokum is used as a spice in several delicacies. Usually it is soaked in water for some time and squeezed to get the juice. Later this juice is boiled to form the unique kokum recipe of soup, rasam and kadhi. Sometimes the pieces of the fruit are added in a kadhi to give the soothing acidic flavours to it. It is also used in alteration to tarmind. Non-food uses The butter extracted from the fruit is used in lipsticks, balms, soaps and skin lotions. It is also an integral part of antiseptic creams due to its healing properties. Some world famous ayurvedic medicines are made using the extracts of the fruit.
Nutritive Value of Kokum Recipes
The butter extracted from the fruit contains some useful fats. . It is a rich source of carbohydrate with protein and cholesterol. Kokum fruit contains anti- oxidants which is highly beneficial in case of acidity, indigestion and constipation. The soup made from the fruit is a known appetizer.