Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kokum Kadi

So, what is kokam? Kokum is an outer covering of a fruit known as Garcinia Indica (it resembles Plum in size and appearance) which has been dried and is used in curries (like Sindhi Kadhi) for its sour taste. It is blackish red in color and when soaked in water, gives out a dark red colour. It is generally found in the southern regions of India. It is also used in preparing "Sherbets" -  a cool, delicious summer drink.
In Gomantak cuisine, this is a must as a starter and is known as "Sol Kadhi". This fruit is abundantly available in Goa.

The kokum that is available in the markets do not give such rich colour when soaked in water as I am told that their juices have already been extracted.

I was fortunate enough as, one of my friends brought kokum for me from Karkala (Udipi district in Karnataka) her home town and since it grows in their backyard, its extract had a nice rich colour. I immediately wanted to make the kadhi but since my stock of packaged coconut milk was over, I had to make the coconut milk by grinding freshly grated coconut. But the end result was wonderful. We had the kadhi with steamed rice. It tasted delicious.

 Kokum Kadi 20


Kokum (dried)
5-6 Pcs
Green Chilies (split)
Coconut milk (first extract)
1 cup
Coconut milk (second extract)
1 cup
1 cup
As per taste
Coriander leaves (chopped)
1 tbsp ( for garnish)
For tempering:

1- 2 tsp
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
1 sprig
¼ tsp


  1. Wash and soak the kokum in a bowl of water (just enough for them to soak) for a few hours.
  2. Heat a pan with water and add the soaked kokum (along with the water), split green chilies and salt in it. Let it boil for a few minutes.
  3. Next add the diluted coconut milk and allow it to boil for a few minutes.
  4. Now add the concentrated coconut milk. Stir well and when it comes to a boil, remove from flame.
5.   Prepare the tempering:
      Heat a small pan with ghee. Add mustard seeds and when it starts spluttering, add
      curry leaves and asafetida. Remove from flame and pour the contents into the
      prepared kadi.
  1. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  2. Serve hot.
Kokum soaked in water
Kept for boiling
Coconut milk added and being boiled
Readying for tempering
Kadi is ready

For those who love garlic, crush 3-4 garlic pods and add it along with green chilies and follow the rest of the procedure as above with the exception of hing (asafetida) which needs to be omitted while tempering.


  • This kadi tastes good with rice.
  • This can also be served as a soup (hot or cold), in which case, the kadi can be strained before serving or just remove the kokum and the chilies leaving the tempering ingredients in it. The choice is yours.
  • Tempering can also be done with jeera and mustard seeds or just jeera (cumin seeds).

For more info on Kokum, see below:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Snake Cucumber Salad (Khamang Kakdi)

Snake Cucumbers
I am not sure how many of you are aware of this snake-like variety of cucumber. People in the north of India are familiar with it and they call it “Kakdi “ or “Kakri”. I later on found out from the net that it is also known as “Armenian Cucumber”.  Frankly speaking, I was totally clueless about this vegetable. Lately, I used to see a vendor selling these (snake-like, light green coloured vegetables) in a cart, from our balcony and used to wonder what they were. Then, one fine day, I saw it on a TV channel and the host was explaining the nutritive value of this wonderful vegetable.

Apparently, unlike other cucumbers this particular variety can be eaten even by those who are prone to cold and cough. (My spouse avoids cucumbers as he immediately catches cold after eating them.) When I heard this on TV, at the first opportunity, I bought a small quantity (4-5) for a trial basis and believe me it was crisp, tender and delicious. It can be eaten raw without removing the skin. And, my spouse had no problem even after eating it. We were both delighted!

This is a typical Maharashtrian dish known as “Khamang Kakdi”. The only change I made in this dish is the use of Snake cucumber instead of the normal one that is available.

 Khamang Kakdi 20


Snake Cucumber
Grated coconut
½ cup
Roasted peanuts
½ cup
Green chilies
2-3 or more
Lemon juice
2 tsps
Chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsps
½ tsp
As per taste
Seasoning ingredients

1 tsp
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
1 sprig


  1. Roughly crush the roasted peanuts and keep aside.
  2. Chop green chilies and lightly crush them and keep aside.
  3. Wash the snake cucumbers, cut them into cubes and place them in a bowl.
  4. Now add the crushed roasted peanuts, green chilies, grated coconut, chopped coriander leaves, lime juice, salt and sugar into the bowl.
For seasoning: Heat a small seasoning pan, add oil in it and when the oil is heated, add mustard seeds and when it starts spluttering, add the curry leaves. Remove from flame and add the contents into the above prepared mixture.
Mix well and serve immediately.

Snake (cucumbers) in the basket
Snake cucumber being cut into cubes
All the ingredients being combined in a bowl
Getting ready to serve
Preparation time:15-20 mins
Seasoning time : 5 mins
Serves: 4

  • This is generally served as a side dish.
  • In case you want to serve this at a later stage, then add salt just before serving.
  • Any type of cucumber can be used in making this salad. English cucumbers that are currently available in most of the supermarkets are another option.