A non-alcoholic digestif with loads of health benefits!
Have I already told you that I love summer? I enjoy sitting out on the patio….needless to say…with food and drinks ! And this delish Berry Kokum Serbet gives me another excuse to linger longer on the patio watching the sunset, enjoying my digestif……….until my reverie is broken by the sudden realization that the dishes and after dinner clean up are waiting for me 🙂
You know what I am talking about, right? But I am happy I got to relish the digestif and the moment and feel good that the delectable Berry Kokum Serbet has so many health benefits too.
Kokum (Gracinia indica ) is the sun dried rind of a fruit belonging to the mangosteen family. The fruit, called Ratamba in Marathi, is indigenous to the Konkan area, where my ancestors come from. I remember the brightly colored glass jars of serbet concentrate my mother used to make in the summers from the whole fruit. Kokum was used in our home throughout the year in sol kadhi and as a souring agent in many scrumptious vegetarian dishes like the Khatkhate and in fish curries.
The kokum has a unique sour taste and when soaked in water, lends a gorgeous fuscia color to the drink. Kokum, according to Ayurveda, has cooling as well as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is also used topically to treat some skin rashes.
In this recipe for Berry Kokum Serbet, I thought of kokum mainly for its cooling and digestive properties this summer. Adding just the right amount of strawberries and blueberries gave a new twist to the kokum serbet and helped me reduce the amount of sugar. The natural sweetness of the berries balances well with sourness of the kokum, giving it a delectable taste. Toasted cumin seed powder aids in the digestion and gives it a unique smoky aroma and taste.
You may vary the amount of berries but I found that the recipe below gave me a perfect balance of sweet and sour and that the unique flavor of the kokum came through. And doesn’t that color just take your breath away? So here is the recipe for the easy to make Berry Kokum Serbet.
Berry Kokum Serbet
- 8 kokum
- 1 cup warm water
- 20 fresh or frozen blueberries (non- sweetened)
- 5 medium sized fresh or frozen strawberries (non- sweetened)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seed powder
- Himalayan pink salt to taste
- Crushed ice to serve
To make the Berry Kokum Serbet-
- Wash the kokum and soak them in the warm water for about half an hour. Strain the liquid and discard the kokum.
- In a blender, combine the blueberries, strawberries, sugar, cumin seed powder and salt. Add the strained kokum liquid and blend together well.
- Serve over crushed ice.
- This a sweet and sour drink. But the amount of sugar will depend on how sweet the berries are.
- For the optional rim on the glasses, I dipped the glasses in water and a mixture of 1 teaspoon sugar+ 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt+ 1/4 teaspoon roasted cumin seed powder and a touch of red chili powder.
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Cheers! Enjoy the weekend! Relax and enjoy the sunset with the Berry Kokum Serbet!