What’s on my plate? Kokum, a dark red fruit sweet-sour in taste, prominently featured in Konkan and Maharashtrian cuisine.
Superpower: A 2006 study in the Indian journal Current Science found that kokum pulp and syrup (the latter is consumed as a refreshing summer beverage in southern parts of India) are a very rich source of antioxidants. But what gives kokum its red cape is hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which keeps cholesterol under check, suppresses appetite, and promotes weight loss by keeping carbohydrates from turning into fat. Yet another active ingredient that gives kokum the title of superfood is garcinol, which according to studies has neuroprotective properties and is anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant in nature. But that’s not all folks! A 2014 paper in the Journal of Food Research and Technology also conceded that kokum in aids in digestion related ailments and can help reduce ulcers.
Where to buy: Dried kokum rinds and kokum syrups are readily available in supermarkets and online grocery websites. However, before you reach for that bottle of syrup, ensure that it’s 100% pure concentrate, free of synthetic additives, and has no added sugar.
Eat this: The best way to eat kokum is by drinking it. You can make kokum sherbet at home by pulverizing and straining soaked kokum rinds, and combining the derived concentrate with sugar, salt, pepper, and roasted jeera. You can also, use kokum in recipes that call for tamarind. If you’re feeling innovative, try whipping up a kokum rasam or a kokum sorbet.
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