“Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet.” – Bob Marley
Ahh the sun… feels like summer is already here! Well there was no question of summer’s arrival while Hubby Darling and I were in Bombay a few weeks ago. It was HOT…. and when I say hot, I mean 95-98 degrees, sticky humidity, sweltering sun HOT. To me, Spring-Summer time are the best seasons to visit India… especially because some of my favorite fruits are in season. You get to sample the sweetest of mangos, lychees, chikoos (sapodilla), sugarcane, and melons available. Now, while going there during this time is great… it can also be quite exhausting! The sun and heat can really get to you, especially if you don’t keep yourself hydrated and cool.
While on our visit, Hubby Darlings Aunt made us a delicious drink made out of Kokum. It was sweet, salty, and very refreshing. I’m sure she could tell how much I enjoyed it because by my second gulp I was asking for the recipe.
The Kokum fruit is believed to be very healthy, containing rich amounts of antioxidants and known to promote cell regeneration and repair. In medicinal purposes it has been used to aid in bringing down fevers and allergic reactions. The juice of the Kokum is especially popular in the summer months as it has a cooling effect on the body and shields the body against dehydration and heat stroke. Kokum is a dark red berry type fruit (almost reminds me of a cranberry in its raw form). The fruit is often halved and dried, and usually available as a dried rind, resembling a thick plum skin. After trying the Kokum drink that Hubby Darling’s Aunt made us, I decided to pick up a bag of the dried fruit to make my own summer cooler.
2 tablespoons dried kokum rind
1 cup ice
2 (8oz) glasses water
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
2 teaspoons roasted cumin powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon black salt
Soak the kokum rinds overnight, or for about 4-6 hours. If you’re inpatient like me, soak the rinds in boiled water and let them sit for 2 hours or until soft. Once the rinds have softened, press them in a tea strainer and extract at least 1 1/2 tablespoons of pulp. Discard the skin once you have extracted the pulp. In a jug add the ice, pulp, water, sugar, mint, black salt, and cumin powder. Stir well and serve.