Kokum is the dried skin of a fruit related to mangosteens.The outer cover of fruit is dried in the sun to get Aamsul or Kokam/Kokum. It is used as a slightly sour spice in recipes that yields peculiar taste and dark red colour. It is a preferred substitute for tamarind in curries and other dishes from Konkan. It is very abundant in the west coast region of India and hence an integral part of Konkani cuisine. These are called ‘bhirnda sol’ in Konkani.
At home I use the Kokum to make Kokum kadi. I have already posted one version here before, this does not use coconut in it. This version that I have posted here uses coconut milk along with garlic and green chillies. This is referred to as Birinda Sola Kadi in Konkani. We enjoy drinking this Kokum kadi especially during hot summers as it has a cooling effect on the body. This can also be consumed along with food or after dinner and tastes terrific when used as an accompaniment with Varan Bhat/ Daali thoy (Konkani daal).
This drink has combination of sweet, sour, hot and tart taste which is hearty and refreshing. The sour taste of the peels is neutralized by the addition of coconut milk and jaggery.
Studies have shown that this fruit can reduce fat, cool body, purify blood and also reduce cholesterol. Check out the other health benefits of kokum here.
Continue reading →
TGIF! The weekend is finally here and I am so glad that this week is finally behind us. This week was particularly exhausting, with lots of activities both on the home and the work front. Added to this we have now enrolled our 4 year old for soccer class, so that means one more activity to squeeze through in our already busy schedule. On the brighter side the kiddo is very happy with his soccer activity and I officially get to be called the soccer mom. 🙂
Moving on to the recipe, these are deep fried savory diamonds (for lack of better term).My mom had prepared and sent these along with the other goodies. Different regions in India refer to this with different names. In Konkani they are referred to as Shankar Pali/ Tudki and in Hindi as Namkeen. It is amazing how even with almost similar ingredients; the taste could be totally different.
Relishing these treats opened up a floodgate of memories. Come Diwali, and this had to be one of the items among the array of dishes (faraal) that my mom used to prepare. She would start her preparation a week before Diwali, but then me and my brother would sneak in and finish off half of the goodies much before that. So she would take good care to either hide it or put it in a place beyond our reach.
Anyway, these are simple to make with readily available ingredients on hand. They are crispy and have that melt-in-your-mouth texture. Trust me; these are so addictive that they are gone in no time.
Hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing weekend.
Continue reading →
The package arrived from India without any problem and out came the treats one by one. There was Besan Laddoo, Chaklis, Tukdis, Atta Laddos, Sesame Laddos, Menthe Hittu etc all prepared and packed with love. It has been a field day for us here ever since we received the goodies from back home and we have been relishing them everyday with joy.
My mom made these Wheat Flour Laddos. She has a knack for making these and makes them delightful and yummy. These laddos are not very sweet with subtle flavor of the wheat and hardly any visibility of the ghee. These Atta laddos are a childhood favorite of mine and I prefer them over the Besan Laddos. Of course, it is a tight race and on some days I can be swayed one way or I cannot make up my mind. Needless to say these are happy problems and I am not complaining. I am glad that DS loved these as well.
I have made microwave version of these before. You can check them out here.
Continue reading →