Sunday, December 16, 2007

Soul Kadhi

When "Fried Fish" is here, can "Soul" Kadhi be far behind?:-) A very authentic cold kadhi, gets its name "sol" from the kokums used in the recipe. These kokums are also called "amsol". Kokum or Amsol is a dried fruit. The fresh fruit is called "Ratamba". This sour fruit gives a very pretty hot pink color. Since sol kadhi also has coconut milk, the resulting concoction is pretty pink. It is my most favorite cold kadhi which is often served with fried fish. and since it touches my soul, I often refer to it as Soul Kadhi.

My paternal grandmother used to make it the old-fashion way. Using a stone grinder to meticulously extract thick and thin coconut milk of the fresh coconut and then mixing with a vibrant pink water of soaked kokums. My mom too extracted the coconut milk but used Sumeet. I use store brought ready made coconut milk. I prefer to use the "light" coconut milk to save on some calories and fat contents. I have heard that now, even in India, you get ready made coconut milk in cartons by Dabur. and also, you get ready made kokum pulp so you don't even have to soak the kokums. This ready made kokum pulp is called "Aagol". and it's not sweetened like kokum sharbat. In my local Indian stores, I used to get very dry, black kokums. They never used to give me the desired pink/magenta shade. So I used to cherish my kokums which mom used to send from Mumbai (Actually my friend's mom used to give it to my mom since she knew I just love their kokums from their gaanv-village.). But recently I noticed that even Indian stores carries these pretty pink, softer kokums.
Since I just use ready made coconut milk, my Soulkadhi gets ready in about 2 minutes. Here's what I do.

Soul Kadhi
Ingredients
1 can light coconut milk can, shake well before opening the can
2-3 cloves of garlic
4-5 kokum petals
salt to taste
1 green chilli, chopped finely
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped finely

Method
1. Soak kokum petals in 4 tbsp warm water for at least 2 hours. You should get vibrant magenta color at this point. Strain the kokum water.
2. blend coconut milk with kokum water, garlic, salt till you see a very pretty pink concoction.
3. Pour it in a serving bowl.
4. Garnish with chili and cilantro.
5. Refrigerate. Serve chilled or at room temperature with white rice and fried fish.

Note-
1. Vegetarians may like to serve this kadhi with rice and kachrya.
2. The amount of kokum petals really depend on the freshness of the kokums you have. If they are fresh, just 3-4 kokums will give enough sourness and color, else you may need some more kokums.
3. If you prefer your kadhi more sour, then you can add strained kokums back to the kadhi. Remember that as they get soaked, they make kadhi more and more sour.

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