Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sol Kadhi

It was in the 90's I remember, we went to Goa, with my Ajji (Grandmother). Her best friend ( Kolwalkar Maushi, as we called her) lived very close to Calangute beach, in an old, traditional home.
The lifestyle was so very different from the busy life of Bombay. 
The old sprawling hose with the red stone floor which was cool to the feet even on the hottest day, with many rooms and old fashioned locks, a massive kitchen with a big sized mortar and pestle set in the floor. Though they had a mixie/ blender, this mortar and pestle were used, to lend food and authentic flavor. 

The two things that I absolutely loved in that old house, the kitchen, everything so traditional, so quaint and the old but sturdy rocking chair that we all took turns sitting in. 
When our hostess and my ajji were cooking, I'd stroll around the garden which had many trees, full of sweet smelling flowers or fruit, I remember plucking chikoo / sapota, washing it under the tap near the garden and eating it, so sweet! 
There was a fresh supply of coconuts and one evening, we were treated to Sol Kadhi. Now this was something I had never tasted in my life. So as it grew dark I sauntered into the kitchen and watched K Maushi sit on the floor with a mound of freshly shredded coconut, she was making coconut milk. It seemed a lengthy process, grinding the coconut in the stone mortar pestle, looked like fun. She let all of us take turns, my mom too, using something like this was a novelty in Bombay (Mumbai) and as a working woman, my mom rarely did something like this. 
I did some grinding, then my hands were tired, I relaxed in the rocking chair until called to dinner.
This is the one meal I remember, we all drank copious bowls of Sol Kadhi. It was so cooling and refreshing! 
All the hard work of an hour or more and gone in minutes! 

Years later, I made this in my kitchen in Los Angeles, with shortcuts. It was easy.
This summer, I introduced the same to my 7 year old. He was not so blown away, but the husband and I finished every drop.

Here is a tutorial if you want to make coconut milk from scratch.
I use a can.

The other shortcut is using Kokum Agal. This is easily available in Maharashtra ( and probably other states) but is difficult to get hold of, in the USA.
Picture from Google search option.
Here is how I made Sol Kadhi

Soak about 5-6 Kokum in warm water, if you can, do this over night, otherwise and hour.
Squeeze the kokum and extract the juice, discard the solids.

Shake thoroughly and open a can of coconut milk

Mix the coconut milk and kokum extract. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Grind 1 ( or to taste) Green Chili and 1 small clove of Garlic. Add it to the kadhi.

Heat 1 -2 tsp of Ghee.

Add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds. As the cumin sizzles and browns slightly, add 1/4 tsp of Asafetida and a few Curry leaves. Some people like to add a halved dry Red Chili, if you want, add it in at this stage. 
Pour the sizzling tempering / tadka on the kadhi, Mix well, Garnish with finely chopped Cilantro.

Typically, Sol Kadhi is pink in color, mine was pale, I believe it is because of the kokum I used.
When I made this Kokum Kadhi, I used superior quality Kokum ( given to me by a fellow blogger). However, with packaged ones from the store, one cannot really tell, I suppose.
The taste was perfect, but if you are a stickler for details, good quality kokum is a must.

Enjoy this easy to make and very tasty kadhi on a hot summer day!

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