Monday, November 2, 2009

Kokum/ Brinda Fruit Drink (Sol Kadhi without Coconut or Footi Kadhi)

As temperatures soar in India, what is one thing you want to reach out to? A nice chilled drink. I reach out to my humble all-time satiating soulful drink - Footi Kadhi or Sol Kadhi. As a child I used to be a hard core addict to Footi Kadhi. So much so that Mom stopped making this fearing that I might develop excessive affinity towards this addictive drink. :)

Sol Kadhi is made from Kokum (as they are called in Goa) or Brinda (as they are called in Mangalore). Kokum is a dark purple colored fruit grown in abundance in Konkan region. One of our family friend owned a expansive lush green farm in Goa; we used to love hopping around in her Farm during summer eating cashewnuts, kokum, hog plums with salt. There are times when we even got beatings from Mom's for excessive indulgence. :)

When we had been to Goa last time around, my friend A had gifted us with a huge batch of Kokum. She got these from her Farm, got them sun-dried with Aaghol treatment and got them neatly packed in a huge jar for annual usage. Thanks A, will always remember you for this sweet gesture. The Kokum shells are treated with special creamy extract alongwith salt taken from the Kokum seeds called as Aaghol in Goan Konkani. The Aaghol is applied to the shells and they are sun-dried for days together till you get dark blackish purple shells ready for use. Mom uses Sol practically for most of her cooking. For all the Upkaris, Colombo's we have atleast 2-3 of them happily thrown in.

Kokum tree has multiple benefits. The leaves, roots, bark and even the fruits, seeds, shells all hold a medicinal value. All my friends from Goa drink Sol Kadhi for lunch. Its a good substitute for butter milk, considering that butter milk is not supplemented so much in the Goan diet. I picked the habit of drinking Sol Kadhi from my Goan friends. It is a good pacifer for the tummy and an excellent aid for digestive ailments.
The low-fat version which originates from Goa, is called Footi Kadhi which is simply Kokum shells thrown in with water and spiced up with Asafoetida, sugar, salt and green chillies. The next version is Sol Kadhi with Coconut milk and Garlic ground to perfection. Juice of this added to the Kadhi and partaken during lunch as a beverage. Rest of the ingredients remain the same. The coconut milk version is suitable as a supplement with rice. I prefer drinking Footi Kadhi just like that. Mom refrigerates the Kadhi to get a chilled flavour.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Soaking time ~ 2-4 hours

Kokum - 5-7 shells
Salt - As per taste
Sugar - As per taste
Asafoetida - 1/3 teaspoon
Green Chillies (chopped) - 2

Soak the Kokum is water for 3-4 hours alongwith salt to release color and juice. Once ready to be consumed, squeeze and drain out the Kokum. Add sugar, asafoetida and green chillies. Stir well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Suggestions: The Kokum which my Mom had stocked were old hence required more soaking time. If the Kokum are young and more fresh, you could soak the shells for an hour or two and consume them immediately once rest of the ingredients are added. The younger the Kokum shells, the more colorful and tastier would be the drink.

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