Kokum info Cooking Tips
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Kokum info Tips and Information|
Kokum info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.
The kokum is native to India and has no English name. Even in India it is used only in the regional cookery of Gujarat Maharashtra and a few southern states where big glasses of kokum sherbet are drunk throughout the parched summer months. Along the ribbon like west coast of India lies an area called Malvan known for its coconutdominated cuisine. In this region where the sweltering heat demands cooling food and drink recipes need ingredients like kokum which is well known for its ability to counteract the heat. People from Malvan swear by the fruit which grows in their area and should they migrate they make sure that they have a regular supply from their families back home.
how it grows
Kokum is a slender evergreen tree with sloping branches and oblong leaves. The kokum fruit is round and about 2.5cm in diameter It is deep purple when ripe and contains large seeds. The fruits are picked when ripe the rind is then removed soaked repeatedly in the juice of the pulp and then sun dried. The rind is used as a food flavouring.
appearance and taste
Kokum is dark purple to black rather sticky with curled edges. Sometimes the entire fruit is halved and dried so that the dried seeds are visible in their chambers like a halved orange. When added to food it imparts a beautiful pinkishpurple colour. As kokum contains malic and tartaric acids it smells and tastes sour but pleasantly fruity.
buying and storing
Kokum is available as a dried rind or fruit. The deeper the colour the better the kokum. It will keep well in an airtight jar for up to a year Kokum butter which is sold in pale grey or yellow slabs is used for cooking in some regions.
The fruit is an excellent antihistamine and an infusion can either be chunk or applied locally to relieve skin allergies. It is also used to treat piles and tumours. The fruits are steeped in sugar syrup to make amrutkokum which is diluted with water and drunk to relieve sunstroke. Kokum butter is used in ointments candles and soaps.
Kokum enhances coconut based curries and is added to vegetables like okra and potatoes and to lentils. It will colour everything it touches so if you want to preserve the colour of a dish use lemon instead. It may also stain your clothes so handle with care.
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