Kokum, adding a punch to Goa's cuisine

Venita Gomes

For the people of the Konkan region, this souring agent – kokum (Garcinia indica) – needs no introduction as it is commonly used in Goa's cuisine. It holds great medicinal properties.

People use the tree's fruit, seeds and leaves for various purposes

Picture Courtesy: Sandeep Desai

During the summer, you will find kokum in abundance all over the state, as it is sun dried outdoors – on the road, and in the front yard of homes.

Picture Courtesy: Sandeep Desai

The ‘aamsul’, ‘kokum’ or ‘binda sola’ is used in traditional curries and other dishes to add a dash of sourness or to balance the flavours of the dish.

The kokum extract is used in a refreshing cooler or ‘sherbert,’ a much-loved summer drink.

And, if you've ever indulged in a fish or vegetarian thali at one of the many restaurants in Goa, you would probably have noticed a small bowl of red or pink liquid, to be consumed at the end of the meal. Well! This liquid is the extract of the kokum fruit, locally known as ‘sol khadi’, and serves as a digestive. Kokum is known to fight acidity and maintain a healthy heart.


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