Though solkadhi and Kokum tambuli aren’t same, I combined them in a single post as they are closely related. Solkadhi is a drink originated from India, highly made in Goa & Maharastra. This is served before, during or after meal which is a greatest appetizer. Basically it is made of kokum juice and coconut milk with few basic spices in seasoning. Both the major ingredients kokum & coconut milk are known for their cooling and healing property, hence it is a perfect drink during summer days! This Konkani delicacy is very easy to make at the same time very satisfying too.
When it comes to coastal Karnataka, Udupi & Mangalore region, tambulis are the integral part of the menu here especially in the summer. It is so comforting during those hot & sweaty days. In tambuli buttermilk is used & coconut is ground with kokum rind instead of adding coconut milk. This is the major difference between tambuli & solkadhi. I believe jaggery is not used in solkadhi, but I added it for the balanced taste!
To mention about kokum / punarpuli (tulu) / birinda which is one of wonderful wild fruits scientifically known as Garcinia indica. These trees are majorly found in Asia & Africa, belongs to the family of mangosteen. Having number of health benefits, its largely being used in cooking and it had many industrial uses too. The outer rind/ skin is used in cooking and the butter extracted from the seed is used in making chocolate as well as in cosmetic industry as ointment base, lipstick base and some other applications too. The fruits are harvested in the season summer. The rind is collected & sun dried after discarding seeds which is stored for long term use generally. Also it is stored in the form of squash or concentrated juice extract which is diluted to make juice as and when required too. Many places, the rind is used for its sour taste which works as a replacement to tamarind! The attractive dark pink color makes beautiful rasam which is liked by many.
Preparation (soaking) time: 30 minutes
Dry kokum rind/ Punarpuli odu/ sippe – 8-10, adjust depending on how strong it is
Coconut milk – 1 glass
Salt – to taste
Pepper powder – to taste
Jaggery – 1 tbsp (optional), adjust to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin - ¼ tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Garlic cloves – 3-4, chopped
Dry red chilli – 1
Water – 1.5 glasses
Ice cubes - optional
- Wash the kokum rinds clean and soak in ½ glass of water for half an hour.
- Extract 1 glass of coconut milk and keep it ready.
- When the kokum rinds are soft, squeeze them with fingers to extract the juice completely. Strain using a juice strainer; add more water if required while doing so.
- Juice can be extracted by churning the kokum rinds once in a blender/ mixer & then straining too instead of squeezing with hand. If you are using this procedure, then don’t overdo the grinding process.
- Now mix coconut milk & extracted kokum juice, salt, pepper powder & jaggery powder.
- Prepare a seasoning of mustard, cumin, chopped garlics, minced red chilli and curry leaves. Add it to the solkadhi drink.
- Serve chilled/ with added ice cubes. You can garnish with chopped coriander leaves optionally.
- Instead of extracting coconut milk, you can add coconut by grinding it into very smooth paste too. Add buttermilk to this to make tambuli.
- Jaggery is not added in original solkadhi recipe, it tastes great with mild sweetness.
- There is another version of solkadhi, without coconut milk or buttermilk. In that case, it is just kokum extract with salt and aromatic seasoning.