Kokum summer squash is a very refreshing drink which soothes mind, soul and body. People in the western Ghat region of India have long used kokum as both spice and medicine. Recent research suggests that it may have potential as an appetite suppressant, as a protector of brain health and as a cancer preventative.
Kokum in Ayurveda
Ayurvedic physicians have long used kokum to treat sores, prevent infection, improve digestion, alleviate diarrhea and constipation, lessen arthritis pain, cure ear infections and heal stomach ulcers.
Kokum is an ornamental fruit tree native to India. Its tiny fruit turns from red to deep purple as it ripens, and is harvested and dried in the spring. The dried rind of the fruit, used as a culinary and medicinal agent, is almost black tinged with purple, has gnarly edges and is slightly sticky.
Wash and soak the dry kokum in hot water for at least 3-4 hours. Squeeze the juices well from the soaked kokum, and strain the juices. Add some more water and squeeze the juices once again and strain it well.
To this kokum juice add honey, little jaggery or sugar, kala namak (black salt), regular salt, chaat masala, zeera powder and little cardamom powder.
Mix them well and adjust to get a nice concentrated juice which would be slightly sweetish, pungent and salty. Before serving add coconut water or regular water to dilute.
Serve this refreshing kokum summer squash chilled 🙂
Preparation and cooking time for Kokum summer squash – 20 mins
Ingredients for Kokum summer squash
|Dry kokum||250 grams|
|Hot water||6-8 cups (or as required)|
|Zeera powder||2 tsp|
|Black salt||1 tsp|
|Salt||1-1 ½ tsp|
|Brown sugar or Jaggery||3 tsp or just as required|
|Chaat Masala||1 tsp|
|Cardamom powder||¼ tsp|
- Wash the dry kokum without squeezing much.
- In a big vessel put kokum and pour hot water to soak the kokum.
- After 2-3 hours nicely squeeze to extract the juices from kokum.
- Strain the juice and add hot water to remaining kokum and after few minutes again squeeze in the juices and mix it with the earlier extracted juice.
- Strain this concentrated kokum juice and to this add honey, zeera powder, black salt, salt, chaat masala, brown sugar or jaggery and cardamom powder.
- Mix it well till all the ingredients are mixed well.
- Taste and adjust the mixture to get mixed flavors of sweet, sour and salt.
- Strain the juices once again if required else store this concentrated strong juice in a glass jar or bottle which can be kept in the fridge.
- When required to serve, dilute the juice in a serving glass by adding around 40-50% coconut water or regular water and few sprigs of mint and pieces of watermelon if available.
- Serve it chill on a sunny day !
- The concentrated juice has to be stronger in its taste so when served it can be diluted as required
- This doesn’t usually spoil because of its strong pungent flours however its best to consume in less than 2 months