Kokum is a dark purple to black sticky fruit with curled edges. It is very abundant in the west coast region of India and hence mostly used inKonkan homes. It addstart taste to the food and many use this as a substitute for tamarind. Studies have shown that this fruit can reduce fat, cool body, purify blood and also reduce cholesterol.
Since it is difficult to find the type of kokum we use at home, here in the US, I load bagful of kokums when in India and stock it for years. At home 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 Daali thoy (Konkani daal).
This is very easy to prepare as well. Before going to work, I mix all ingredients along with water and let it do its thing. When I come back home, it is ready to be devoured. There is no seasoning, heating, tadka etc nothing to this. If only cooking other dishes was as easy! This can be kept in the fridge for days and makes a cool refreshing drink during summers. The making process of this reminds me of the old Indian advertisement (Kinetic Honda, I guess) “Mix it, Shut it and Forget it”.
The only note for this is that the asafetida needs to have a very strong flavor as that plays a strong role in this drink. This drink has combination of sweet, sour, hot and tart taste which is hearty and refreshing.
2-3 green chillies
chopped coriander leaves
3 cups of water
In the 3 cups of water, put in all the ingredients except coriander leaves.
Let it rest for about 6-8 hours and do its own thing.
Remove the kokums and garnish with coriander leaves while serving.
After getting married, I was introduced to many new, delicious and interesting dishes hitherto unknown to me. Even though both of us are Konkanis, vegetarians, share the same background and culture yet each of our families have different style and combination of cooking.My MIL has over the years graciously taught me their style of cooking.
One such new, easy and tasty dish is the Cucumber dosa (savory Indian pancake) . This has only 2 ingredients cucumber, idli rava and can be made in a jiffy. The end product is truly amazing, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with golden hue to it. Unlike a regular urad dosa tears easily and simply melts in the mouth. And this does not need any fermentation!
Please note that even though this is caleld Dosa, the prepared batter is patted on the stove directly like a Thalipeeth.
2 medium size cucmbers
1.5 cups of idli rava
4-5 green chillies
coriander leaves chopped (optional)
1/2 cup shredded coconut(optional)
Peel the cucumbers and grate them. Retain the seeds of the cucumber but drain the cucumber water as much as possible.
Chop up the green chilies very finely.
Add the idli rava, green chilies, shredded coconut, coriander leaves to grated cucumber and mix well. Add salt as required
Let this whole thing rest for about 30 minutes. Note that the mixture in this case will be coarse and not “gooey” or watery like a dosa batter.
Note: Even if it becomes watery, do not discard the water but retain it and mix it well.
Heat a tava and grease it a little bit. When the tava is hot, take a handful of the cucumber mixture and place at the center.
Pat the mixture using finger tips and spread it around starting from the center to form a circle.
Use little water to spread this out if it becomes hot to handle.
This spreading should not be either too thick or thin, make it as even as possible.
Make about 4-5 small holes around the periphery and center of the circle using a spatula.
Put about 1 tsp of oil around the dosa and also 1 tsp into the small holes.
Cover this with a lid and let it stay for a minute or so on high heat.
After a minute take a peek and check to see if the backside of the dosa has a brown color.
If it has not, then let it stay for a while or the dosa will break when trying to turn it around.
If it has browned then, turn the dosa around, put some more oil around it and let it cook for a while.
This can be eaten as is or with little ghee or coconut oil.