Kokum Juice: the humble Goan summer drink

In this article, Shobhika Jaju introduces you to the Kokum fruit & shares two popular Kokum recipes, should you be willing to try something different.

When we think of drinks in Goa, during the summer season, we often think of the much-awaited and popular feni. But come summers, & Goa produces another delectable offering, Kokum.

Kokum, a fruit native to the Konkan belt, has been part of the Goan culture for centuries. While dried kokum & kokum drinks are available throughout the year; the fresh dark pink juicy kokum fruit is available usually from March to May. Kokum fruit is known for a range of health benefits, & is high in Vit-C which is essential for immunity building. The most common varieties of Kokum available in the market these days, include the raw fruit, the dried part and kokum in the processed juice/syrup format.

While often used in curries and other food preps in the Konkan belt, the two most common ways in which kokum drink is served include the savoury Sol Kadi and the sweet Kokum juice. The former is usually consumed with rice, and made with coconut milk but can be consumed by itself too. And well the kokum juice, is just the perfect way to beat the heat & can be consumed all day long. Kokum cocktails are a new addition to the many ways in which this drink is being savoured.

I have rounded up two really simple recipes for making Kokum a part of your mealtimes.

But first, grab yourself some fresh kokum to begin with.

Recipe – Kokum Concentrate / Syrup

Cut & chop fresh kokum, remove the seeds, blend it in the blender, strain the mixture, mix it with some sugar, roasted cumin powder, cardamom powder, black & regular salt. Cook till the sugar melts and add a little water to boil, cook for 5-10 minutes, and once done, remove from heat, let it cool and then refrigerate. Your kokum concentrate for all things Kokum is now ready, and can last in the fridge for up to 4 to 6 months. [You can also follow a similar process for dried kokum].

Or you can also buy the premade kokum concentrate readily available in the market.

Recipe – Sol Kadi     

Add 2 cups of water to the kokum syrup (take the quantity as per the tanginess you want), add 1 cup of coconut milk, mix well, add salt, and mix again.

The next step involves making the tempering or the tadka. For this you need 1 cup of oil (any neutral tasting cooking oil), add some cumin seeds to it, let it boil & crackle. Next, add some curry leaves, dried red chillies, crushed garlic and some hing (asafetida). Fry for 30 seconds or so and then gently pour the cracking tadka on the sol kadi. Mix well & there, your homemade sol kadi is ready to consume. You can also keep it in the fridge and have it chilled.

Sol Kadi  
Sol Kadi  

Recipe – Kokum juice (sherbet)     

Take 2 tablespoons of Kokum syrup (increase as per your taste buds), pour some chilled water or soda, put some ice, salt & mint leaves. And there! Your perfect summer drink is ready!

So, go ahead and try out these easy recipes & enjoy another interesting aspect of the Goan summers.

Kokum juice (sherbet)     

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