Sonali Bhogle
Kokam 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 Kokan. It is very abundant in the west coast region of India and hence an integral part of Konkani cuisine.

Ingredients :
  •  4-5 kokum peels
  • ½ coconut shredded (to extract coconut milk)/coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 2-3 garlic pods
  • 2 green chillies (increase if you like it spicy)
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ghee / purified butter
  • 2 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • salt

Method :

Boil the kokum peels with half the water for about 5 minutes. Remove the peels and keep the juice aside. To make the coconut milk, blend together the coconut, garlic pods and green chillies along with water and make a thick paste. Pass this through the sieve and save the extracted milk. Note: you can use readily available coconut milk instead of this.
Now in a deep vessel heat ghee and make a tadka of  mustard seeds, asafoetida,.Then add coconut milk and kokam juice and sugar.  Warm it up a bit but do not boil. Put off the heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and Serve hot or cold. Note :This dish is never boiled as the sour kokum separates the coconut milk into globules which look unappetizing.

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