Garcinia indica

Not a fish. Nor a tadpole. Just the dried peel of the fruit Garcinia indica, better known as kokum.


I was pretty sure that one of the Konkani food bloggers would get it right away and sure enough, Meera did. TC also got it. You guys are amazing. To me, it looked like the head of a baby eel hanging out with a fishy friend! And why not? Kokum and fish go very well together!

If you missed it, check out this fantastic post on kokum by Shilpa with pictures of the kokum tree, the fresh fruit, the dried fruit and its various by-products.

This is the freshest and tangiest kokum I have ever had. I soaked about 4-5 kokum in a shot glass, knowing fully well that a few would disappear along the way and they did - a certain little person who shall remain unnamed has an affinity for anything sour. The resulting liquid was a gorgeous deep pink in color and it just blew me away. Oh, the possibilities! But, to begin with I stayed with a family favorite: Gujarati dal. Recipe coming up in my next post tomorrow! Today, I have to work!

23 comments:

TheCooker said...

Who me? Cheat?
Agga-bai such a low opinion of moi.
Now it is your turn for ootha-basha.
Last week a friend, visiting from Pune, gifted me kokum instead of bakarwadi. I added it to my usual phodnicha waran. Before long those strange, by now turgid shapes were floating on top. The kids flat out refused to consume that thing. More for us!!

Shilpa said...

Ohh well..I thought kokum would look too obvious :(.
And that eye...freaky...
D cooked fish for you? wow...

Manisha said...

TC, hardly low opinion! That's what I would do! Scan all the previous ones and pick the most likely and then make it seem like I came up with it first. :-D

Next time, take out the kokum before bringing it to the table or showing the varan to the kids. They will love the varan. Medha did various things: sucked on the dried kokum, ate the soaked kokum and even drank the deep pink water!


Shilpa, so you knew it all along then! That eye and the two eyes that the one under it had me wondering if this was really kokum! And yes, he cooked tilapia in green curry sauce with beans - a very easy recipe. I am going to polish it off as a late lunch now. That was the highlight of my Mother's Day!

Mystikka Jade said...

Hi Manisha...

Do you have an email address where we can contact you directly?

Meera said...

I guessed something right? Wow!! That's a breaking news! :-)

I recently read about tamarind martini in cooking light, so thought maybe you made kokum martini!:-)

Purnima said...

Well, atleast for once I got there first - even if cdn't solve the mystery ( I thought it was Kodampuli..a type of kokam commonly used by Keralites in fish curry but with that scary eye, I changed thoughts!) :D

Anita said...

I would have never guessed! From that angle, it didn't look like kokum at all!

Lissie said...

great picture! i thought 'kokum' and the Kerala 'kudampuli' are the same. but they seem to be different fruits used in fish curries!

Aparna said...

You should try the kokum kadi they serve with Goan thali meals.
Just great, a combination of tangy, salty and spicy.

Manisha said...

Mystikka Jade, I have updated my profile with my email address. :-)

Meera, it was no surprise to me! Kokum martini was on my mind but that needs a quiet weekend, which has not been on the cards of late.

Purnima and Lissie, kudampuli is also garcinia but it is garcinia gummi-gatta or garcinia cambogia. It is very sour and the flavor is different from that of kokum. So is the smell. Gini makes a fabulous Kottayam fish curry which I have made with both kokum and kudampuli. Kudampuli wins hands down in that recipe! Kudampuli is also thicker than kokum. I will try to include comparison pics in my next post.

Welcome to IFR,
Lissie!

Anita, hee! :-D

Aparna, sol kadi was a staple in our meals till my father was asked to cut out coconut from his diet. No meal was perfect unless the last two bites of rice were eaten doused in sol kadi. And it wasn't uncommon for folks to hold out a cupped fist to be filled with sol kadi which they would drink at the end of the meal. There is a coconut-less version called futi kadi which is also very refreshing. I hope to go back to my roots now that I have a stash of kokum!

Observer said...

Hello Manisha,

Any idea what Kokum is in Tamil?

Thanks.

Ray said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be wow.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur post on Garcinia Indica took my particular attention as it is an interesting topic of mine too ;)

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

Cheers,

Marlene said...

hey, Im visiting ur blog for the first time and found it very interesting... keep up the good work!!

Purnima said...

Manisha, pls chk my post, its just that I truly appreciate whatever little con. we have had, helped me a lot!!

Uma said...

I am too late to post a comment on this mystery! So it's kokum, ha! I never saw kokum before or used it any recipe, though heard about it in some blogs. Thanks Manisha!

Cynthia said...

Man that thing was creepy looking when you first posted about it. As much as you say its a peel, I keep looking at it and my brain refuses to believe you :)

Deepu said...

ok so is that even indian food? lol garcinia sounds like some other type of food....

Manisha said...

Observer, no clue, sorry :-( From whatever I have read, kokum is not native to Tamil Nadu. In Marathi, we also call it amsol or amsul or sol.

Ray, thank you and best of luck with your web site.

Marlene, thanks and welcome to IFR!

Purnima, thank you! You are a sweetheart! I will get in touch soon!

Uma, isn't it great how we find out so much about different regional cuisines through blogs?

Cynthia, it's all in the angle! :-D

Deepu, not Indian food? Yet you have a web site about Indian food, you say? Interesting. Oh and what you just did? It's called comment spamming. Please desist from using my comment space to promote your web site. Another link drop and your comments will be deleted.

FoodieFriend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Anand said...

kindly post a clear picture of kokum.

Manisha said...

Anand, this is as clear as it gets. :-)

madteaparty said...

Really, what is with these mystery pictures? Can't you ever show it like it really is? Confounding us...